Updated May 17, 2013, 12.09 p.m. GMT with Italian TV report on Thursday’s incident involving Gandy and Le Bon’s Jaguar XK 120
Tullio M. Puglia
Jaguar is participating in this year’s Mille Miglia from May 16 to 19, 2013, fielding a total of 24 cars, including six from Jaguar Heritage Racing.
Its team includes Le Mans winner Andy Wallace and Alex Buncombe, and luminaries such as Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, Michael Quinn, three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis, actress Hannah Herzsprung, models David Gandy and Yasmin Le Bon, and Salvatore Ferragamo, the grandson of the famed designer, with whom he shares his name.
The heritage models are three XK 120s and three C-types, while Jaguar will also field modern F-types, Lucireās Car to Be Seen in for 2013.
On the first day, Gandy and Le Bon, co-drivers of an XK 120, were pushed off the road by another competitor, but have begun again at the starting line on May 17. A brief Italian news report is embedded at the end of the article.
Jaguar has previewed this year’s Mille Miglia with a short film, shown below, featuring Gandy, Le Bon, Buncombe, Murray Walker and, famously, Sir Stirling Moss and his 1952 co-driver Norman Dewis.
Ferragamo is the Jaguar F-type’s Italian ambassador, a duty he also has with Relais & ChĆ¢teaux worldwide. He was presented with an F-type 3Ā·0 V6 S at the Castello di Gabbiano, in Mercatale Val di Pesa, near Firenze. His co-driver for the event is Michael Quinn, grandson of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons.
Bentley, meanwhile, says it will field two 4Ā½-litre Supercharged Blowers, dating from the 1930s.
Today, Lucire has come full circle. One of the earliest stories on the web for our group was on the Renault Clioās Nicole and Papa campaign, created in the early 1990s by Publicis. The Clio, which was the first Renault to hit the best sellersā lists consistently in the UK, was sold with a cheeky campaign featuring two charactersāNicole, a young French lass, and Papa, obviously, her father. Those were the only two words uttered in the majority of the commercials, with the exceptions of āMamanā and āBobā, the final referring to comedian Bob Mortimer.
The last Nicole and Papa TVC, released when the Clio II was launched in 1998, saw Nicole finally walk down the aisle, about to marry Vic Reeves (a.k.a. Jim Moir) when she finally decides, at the last minute, to run off with Bob Mortimer instead.
Itās hard to believe that Nicole and Papa entered the British consciousness 20 years ago, in a series which also marketed French flair and the belief that the French have a better lifestyle than the British.
The Clio is still with us, but itās much larger than before. Now on its fourth incarnation, the latest Clio is more expressive and sporty in looks, thanks to the work of Laurens van den Acker. Itās on the previous modelās platform, albeit heavily revised, and thatās a good thing. In the stories we did on the Clioāboth publisher Jack Yan and travel editor Stanley Moss took Clio 3s around France and New Zealandāwe found it one of the most capable superminis, a small car with a big-car feel. In fact, we found it better for cruising New Zealandās South Island than the Holden Commodore, which we tried around the same time.
Clio IV features an 899 cmĀ³, three-cylinder engine, but itās turbocharged, developing more than 90 PSāthose are the sorts of eco-friendly, yet powerful, specs that you can expect from the French these days. Renault claims a combined 88Ā·3 mpg from the Energy dCi 90 engine. Archrival Peugeot similarly has three-cylinder units for its 208, the Clioās closest rival at home, though the entry-level engine here is actually a 1Ā·1 four which develops 75 PS. An RS model appears in 2013, getting 200 PS from a turbocharged 1Ā·6, continuing the tradition of pocket rockets from ClioāLucire photographer Doug Rimington once owned a Clio RS 182, which proved to be an able and taut sports hatch.
The great thing is that Clio IV has the looks to match its āva-va-voomā nature. The new modelās styling conveys everything that Nicole and Papa tried to do: that when you get a Clio, youāre getting a dose of French flair. But wait, thereās more: āva va voomā includes a sense of passion, something which van den Ackerās styling attempts to do. This isnāt a dull little hatch in the domestic appliance mould: Clio IV is emotive, and even sexy. Theyāre not words you tend to hear in the B-segment.
To show just what Renault means, the company has come up with two videos, one for unsuspecting male test drivers who come to a corner and are surprised at what happens when the āva va voomā button is pressed, and the other for female test drivers.
And to bring things full circle, Nicole and Papa make an appearance, uttering the lines that made them famous. It does seem that the years have not been kind to Nicole and Bob, because thereās no sign of Mortimer, as Nicole has found herself a new man.
But isnāt that just what we expected?
Find out more from or book a test drive at the Renault website. Renault’s Twitter account can be found here, and its Facebook here.
Updated March 28, 2013 at 10.56 a.m. GMT with The Delivery film and other highlights
James Bond star Daniel Craig has helped launch the Range Rover Sport in New York City with a drive through Manhattan, revealing the car to a celebrity audience that included former American football player Michael Strahan, Yasmin Le Bon, Zara Phillips, MBE, and Jade Jagger, at Skylight at Moynihan Station on 8th Avenue.
The drive is part of a short film called The Delivery, broadcast live by Land Rover at www.newrangeroversport.com. The Delivery was directed by Jonathan P. B. Taylor, who most recently worked on A Good Day to Die Hard. It followed the journey of the new Range Rover Sport from Solihull to Manhattan, before it was driven by Craig over Manhattan Bridge to Moynihan Station.
Craig drove the earlier Range Rover Sport in his second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, but was also attracted to working with the company because of its connection to the charity SAFE, of which he is a patron. Among other things, SAFE uses mobile street theatre and community programmes to help effect social change in third-world countries.
Jaguar Land Rover says it chose New York for the launch as it sells more units in the US than in any other global market. New York is the car’s best selling city.
The new Sport is no longer based on a Discovery, but has a new platform based around the company’s aluminium architecture, lightweight suspension design and chassis technologies. It was developed alongside the latest Range Rover but JLR claims that 75 per cent of the Sport’s parts are unique to it.
It can be specified with occasional seating for sixth and seventh passengers, again appealing to the US market. The power seats can be folded to leave a flat floor.
The new V6 diesel is 420 kg lighter than the outgoing model, while carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced to 194 g/km.
The exterior design is more muscular and purposeful than the Range Rover presented last year, and some might say it is better balanced. It is positioned between the Range Rover and the smaller Evoque.
It is 62 mm longer than the outgoing Sport, but the wheelbase has been increased by 178 mmāthe overhangs have been shortened to give it more muscular proportions compared to the previous model. At 4,850 mm, it is shorter than other seven-seater SUVs and E-segment saloons, says the company. The drag co-efficient has dropped to 0,34.
Connectivity includes Stolen Vehicle Tracking and a high-bandwidth wifi hotspot can be installed. An optional head-up display is available. Other features include lane departure warning, automatic high-beam assist, and a Wade Sensing feature that provides information on depth when driving through water.
Land Rover said it had set out to create the most capable Range Rover ever, one which would be agile on-road, but unbeaten by its rivals off-road.
In a release, Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards noted, ‘Weāve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting drive, together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.
āBuilding on the success of the recently launched flagship Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport also employs a vast array of new technologies which help to transform its performance, refinement and all round capabilities.’
Again recognizing its clientĆØle, the wheel sizes range from 19 through to 21 inches.
Suspension is fully independent, with double wishbones at front and multi-link at the rear. Wheel travel is 260 mm at the front and 272 mm at the rear; ground clearance has been increased to 278 mm. Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system selects the most suitable terrain program.
A hybrid diesel with 169 g/km carbon dioxide emissions will follow, but at launch, the Sport has a supercharged five-litre V8 developing 510 PS, and a three-litre diesel developing 292 PS. Three- and 4Ā·4-litre diesels will be added in 2014.
Above, from top Michael Strahan. Yasmin Le Bon. Daniel Craig and SAFE’s Nick Reding. Jade Jagger. Zara Phillips, MBE. Sienna Guillory and Jamie Chung. Thierry Henry. Below More shots of the new Range Rover Sport.
Lucire is already a huge fan of Project Born, which raises money for the Neonatal Trust. So when we heard Ride4Life 2013, benefiting the same charity, would be passing through Wellington, naturally, we wanted to get on board to help this worthy cause.
The fundraising event sees a core team of eight cyclists, including ex-All Black Christian Cullen, ride from Cape Reinga to Bluff, with a NZ$1 million target.
They had set off on February 25, and last week, I had run in to one of the BMW support vehicles just south of Paihia. Both Team McMillan BMW and Mini, and Jeff Gray BMW and Mini, have supplied vehicles to help out, namely eight Mini Rays, one Mini Countryman, and a BMW X5. The Minis will be auctioned off at the end of the bicycle ride on Trade Me with all proceeds going to the Neonatal Trust.
Michael Meads, CEO of the Trust, has been happy with the ‘outstanding’ support he has received from sponsors, including the Team McMillan and Jeff Gray dealerships.
Meads himself is piloting one of the Minis. ‘I absolutely love the Miniāit handles differently and feels very solid. It can take a corner at speed and it’s not an issue.’ The Minis, travelling in convoy, have actually attracted people to the cycling effort whenever they have a stop.
Joining them to the half-way mark in Wellington today was a classic car club, whose members drove a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, and a 1957 Ford Country Sedan.
Meads says the inspiration came from a former chairman, Eugene Collins, who was a cycling fanatic. Cycling between Auckland and Wellington, Collins was able to raise $10,000 for the Trust at the time of the Christchurch earthquake. ‘We talked about how we could make it bigger and make more money,’ says Meads.
Meads and Collins had become involved with the Trust through their own neonatal experiences. Collins’s son, Harrison, suffered from meconium aspiration and even had to go on a heartālung bypass machine, as well as endure emergency flights between Auckland and Wellington. Harrison is now a healthy 11-year-old who competes in triathlons.
Meads’s own experience saw his wife admitted to hospital during the 18th week of her pregnancy as she began going into labour. After three and a half months in hospital, she gave birth to their twins at 35 weeks. ‘I could see a need to help out,’ Meads recalls.
With the help of TV announcer Grant Walker, whose son had been in neonatal care a year before, he began talking about a charitable trust, before learning that the forerunner to the current Neonatal Trust existed.
The earlier organization was focused on Wellington, and Meads was one of the driving forces who saw it rebranded and turned into a national movement, through amalgamation and establishment of other branches. There are now five, in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
He says there is a need to help transition families who returned to the 14 provinces around the country after their neonatal experiences in the five main centres. Ride4Life 2013 is geared to raise funds for the provincial areas.
After Wellington, the cyclists will board the Interislander, another supporter, but will in fact keep pedalling: they will be on wind trainers. There are no rest days for them between Wellington and Bluff, with one leg 187 km in distance. After Bluff, they will head to Invercargill to watch Collins attempt to break a 24-hour cycling velodrome endurance record.
One baby every 90 minutes requires neonatal intervention, says Meads.
The cyclists, including Cullen, will be in Wellington on Thursday, March 7, collecting around the city. Alternatively, you can donate via ride4life.co.nz or through any Westpac branch. There’s a Facebook page, where you can follow some of their progress.āJack Yan, Publisher
Peugeot has announced its 2008 crossover, a B-segment urban vehicle with off-road pretensions. As with most crossovers, it’s not the ideal vehicle with which to go mud-plugging, but it has the look of toughness and a raised ride height that buyers of the genre like.
Surprisingly, they are doing well in many countries, including China and Brazil, where many 2008s will be built. They’re also coming out of Peugeot’s plant down in Mulhouse, France, for most international markets.
The B-segment is currently fielded by the likes of the Ford EcoSport in Brazil, the second generation of which will also be sold in China and other markets.
Brazilians, too, seem to favour crossover versions of humble hatchbacks such as the Fiat Uno, Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Fox.
Seeing this boom, Peugeot has tried to incorporate the tastes of all its big markets, without the result looking bland. The 2008 manages to incorporate most of the Peugeot look, from the floating grille to the distinctive taillight shapes. There is also a stylistic relationship to the larger, Mitsubishi RVR-based Peugeot 4008.
The result is a crossover measuring 4Ā·16 m in length, fitted with what Peugeot calls Mud & Snow tyres, 17-inch wheels and ‘pronounced wheel arches that give it an appealing road presence and stance,’ according to the release. The idea is to ape the SUV look in a smaller package.
Engines will include the three-cylinder petrol engines first seen in the 208 as well as Peugeot’s e-HDi diesel. Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to begin at 99 g/km.