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October Releases For Mazda BT-50 & BMW 4 Series.

Mazda’s completely overhauled their BT-50 ute and announced that sales will commence from October of 2020. Gone is the sharp and angular nose that featured and replaced with the family look that covers the brand’s SUVs. Mazda’s designers embody their vehicles with a language they call “Kodo” and this is now on the BT-50.

This features a three dimensional wing styling when viewed from the front, and there are striking

crease lines that sweep from the grille and headlights through to the wing mirrors. From the top, a line runs directly through the centre from nose to tail. The restyled bonnet covers a 3.0L diesel with 140kW and 450Nm of torque. Better economy comes from a weight reduction regime, whilst that torque enables a 3.5 tonne towing capacity and a payload of over a tonne.

Head inside and the cabin also has been refreshed, with a more family oriented feel for this commercially aimed vehicle. The seats have a higher level of support, crucial given the 4×4 capability of the BT-50, and the steering column is now telescopic as well for extra versatility. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now feature in the enlarged touchscreen. Safety features have improved too, with Adaptive Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert as standard.

Colour choices now include Gunblue Mica and Concrete Grey Mica. The blue has a deep lustre in some areas that contrast with lighter shades in the light, with the grey giving an industrial feel.

Pricing has yet to be confirmed.

October also sees BMW’s new 4 Series coupe ready for showrooms. It’s been stretched in three dimensions, had the suspension reviewed and revised, and is also slipperier through the air than the previous model.

Behind the restyled nostril grilles lie a pair of torquey 2.0L four cylinder petrol engines for the 420i and 430i models, delivering 135kW/300Nm and 190kW/400Nm respectively, and a six cylinder unit for the M440i xDrive that develops 285kW/500Nm. Transmission is an eight speed Steptronic.

Dimensional changes see the 4 Series Coupe lengthen by 130 millimetres and width increase by 27mm, and wheelbase has gone out to 41mm, to see a total length of 4,768mm, width of 1,852mm and a wheelbase of 2,851mm.

The interior has been revamped with a M-Leather steering wheel, acoustic glass for the windscreen, and a twin-screen layout for the driver and infotainment. This is the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, with a 10.25 inch control screen and a 12.3 inch driver’s display screen. A 4G SIM card allows for on-the-go access to the BMW Connected Package Professional. This allows the usage of digital services such as the BMW TeleServices and Intelligent Emergency Call,plus provides Real Time Traffic Information with hazard warning, Remote Services and Concierge Services. BMW have engineered in genuine flexibility here, with controls for the information activated via (and depending on the respective content) the iDrive controller, steering wheel buttons, voice control or BMW’s innovative gesture control.

Underneath the 4 Series lies, as standard, the standard M Sport suspension. Specifically for the 4 Series their is specially tuned lift related dampers. The Adaptive M Suspension can specified as part of an option pack.

Pricing starts from $70,900 (manufacturer’s recommended list price) for the 420i, $88,900 for the 430i, and a hefty $116,900 for the top of the range M440i xDrive

McLaren GT: A Legend Reinvigorated.

McLaren is a name synonymous with high speed, both on a race track and for performance luxury cars. Early 2020 and the legendary brand releases a new GT, a complete reimagining and new addition to their high performance stable.

Here’s what has been made available for the 2020 McLaren GT.

The Engine.
It’s a 4.0L twin turbo V8 with 32 valves and Variable Valve Timing. It will whistle the GT to 100kph in a blink lasting just 3.2 seconds. The 200kph mark is astonishing at 9.0 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 326kph. Peak power is 456kW. Torque is 630Nm with 95% of that available at 3,500rpm. Those velocities are thanks to a dry weight of 1,466kg. Transmission is a seven speed dual-clutch auto. Claimed consumption of fuel is a UK figure of 11.9L/100km for a combined cycle. Maximum revolutions per minute are 8,500.

The Body.
It’s an evolution of the design ethos that underpins McLaren’s road cars. The body has a base construction of a bespoke MonoCell II-T carbon fibre chassis for maximum strength but minimum weight. It’s perhaps not as wild looking as some of the range but it’s purposeful, fast whilst standing still, and belies it’s 4,683mm overall length. It looks…tidier…with a sculpted front and rear, with an integrated lip spoiler. There are large rear quarter air intakes and a pair of smaller vents on the flanks and directly above the rear wheels. A subtle crease line grows from the bottom of the front air-dam to the rear of the headlight cluster, and in profile brings to mind the McLaren boomerang motif.

2020 McLaren GT upper view

Inside the 225/35/20 (front) and 295/30/21 (rear) wheels are brakes that will haul down the McLaren GT to zero from 124mph in 417 feet, or from 62mph in 105 feet. The suspension is a bespoke double wishbone layout, with adaptive settings that also allow for ride height changes, especially when parking, from 1,213mm to 1,234mm.

It’s broad, at 2,095mm and when the forward hinged, upward lifting, doors reach their highest point, it’s 1,977mm above the tarmac. The tray is completely flat and makes for exceptional high speed stability.

There is an outstanding range of colours to choose from. The default colour is the famous McLaren Silver, however a buyer can specify from the Special range colours such as Onyx Black or Storm Grey, Amaranth Red or Namaka Blue from the Elite, then go more distinctive with Helios orange or Papaya Spark, just two from the MSO Defined range.

McLaren GT front profile

The Inside.
Rather than stamp the GT with the expected wood and leather designs to say it’s a luxury sports car, McLaren embody the functional feature ideal. With optional interior trims available, McLaren have fitted brand new seats, designed and engineered for the GT. Immaculate surface detail is obvious on the trim, and that translates to the dash and console. It’s clean, uncluttered, minimalistic, yet everything is within a fingertip’s reach, including the vertically oriented touchscreen, and knurled solid aluminum switchgear as part of option packs. Black leather and aluminum trim combine for a comfortable and eye-catching steering wheel and console look.

McLaren GT interior

There are also McLaren’s own luggage components that can be purchased which will fit the cargo compartments and complement the looks. Above the passengers is an electrochromatic glass roof that has five preset shading levels and in a roof view, runs into the glazed engine cover. This also provides the lid for a 420L luggage compartment along with 150L for the “frunk” or front trunk. Cooling for the rear compartment comes from the same air intakes that push air into the engine’s radiators.

Pricing starts from US$213,200.

McLaren GT

Take 5: BMW’s Mid Size Saloon Updated.

BMW have declared 2020 to be the year of reinvigoration. The German sports luxury car maker continues to roll out uipdates in 2020 and the latest is to the mid-sized sedan, the 5 Series. The range brings the seventh generation 5 Series to market with: 520i, 530i, 530d, 530e PHEV, M550i xDrive and M550i xDrive Pure. Included on all variants will be the M Sport package. There has been changes to the fuel pressure system on the petrol engines for the 520i and 530i. They’ll have a bump from 200 bar to 350 bar for better throttle response and fuel efficiency.

Pricing for the range starts from $95,900 for the 520i 2.0L TwinPower Turbo. There is 135kW and 290Nm on tap here for a 7.8 second 0 – 100kmh time. Head to the 530i with 185kW and 350Nm for 6.1 seconds and the price is $115,900. A PHEV joins the range at $118,900 with BMW’s Synchronous Electric Motor and 2.0L TwinTurbo and packs a 215kW and 420Nm punch. 0 – 100 time is 5.9 seconds.
A six cylinder diesel for the 530d sees power at 195kW and a thumping 620Nm of torque for $125,900. The run to 100 takes 5.7 seconds. Moving into the M550i xDrive Pure and it’s a 4.4L V8 TwinPower unit with 390kW and 750Nm. At $137,900 it’s take just 3.8 seconds to reach freeway speeds. For a little extra the M550i xDrive has the same performance but ups the luxury stakes for $152,900. It’s the flagship for the M Performance line and has the fully variable xDrive AWD system. All prices are Manufacturers List Price.

The PHEV has the electric engine integrated with the gearbox and the package can be switched between petrol, hybrid, or electric only for propulsion. When driven in petrol-only mode, the 530e produces 135kW and 300Nm, while the electric motor offers standalone outputs of 80kW and 265Nm. Battery range is around 67km. BMW adds an XtraBoost function. It bumps peak power to 215kW for up to ten seconds when “vigourous acceleration” is required. It’s a standard fitment and engages when the Driving Experience Control’s Sports mode is selected and the drive selector moves to M/S.
Standard trim in the 520i includes the M Sport package, with the exterior features such as 19 inch alloys and Adaptive LED headlights adding visual pull with Dakota Leather trim, Parking Assistant Plus, and Head Up Display are part of the interior features. The 530i adds a Harman Kardon 16 speaker hifi, front heated seats, and automatic tailgate. The M550i xDrive sees 20 inch alloys and M Performance tuning. handling and drive has the M Sport diff and Adaptive M Suspension Professional. A luxury touch is the soft close for the doors and a leather coated instrument panel. Forward vision is courtesy of BMW’s Laserlight system.

That’s available as an option on the BMW 520i, 530i, 530d and 530e, while the BMW M5 Competition donates the M Multifunctional Seats are optionable for all models. Visual spark for the 520i is available with high gloss red M Sport brakes, and a zero dollar option for the rest of the range. A different form of visual appeal can be optioned as well, with the Drive Recorder that uses the surround cameras to provide up to 40 seconds worth of video.
Bend the ear of your local BMW dealer for a test drive when the range is released.

Maserati’s New Engine Finds The Right Formula.

Italian luxury sports car maker Maserati has declared its interest in rejoining motorsport. It’s done so in emphatic fashion by trickling details of the upcoming MC20 super-sportscar, and now the company has released details of the engine, called “Nettuno”, that will be the heartbeat of the machine.It’s got some real oomph; capacity is 3.0L, in a 90 degree twin-turbo V6 configuration. The dry-sumped design provides a peak power figure of 463kW and torque of 730Nm. 7,500rpm is where the power comes in whilst torque is at a very useable 3,000rpm. It’s close to a square-bore design too, with bore and stroke 88mm x 82mm. It will run a 11:1 compression ratio. Looking to Formula 1, Maserati have employed the use of a pre-chamber combustion system featuring twin-spark plugs. This will mark the first time this kind of technology will be provided for a road-going vehicle.Three features define the MC20’s engine. The pre-chamber is located between the “normal” combustion chamber and the electrode of the ignition system. A set of specially engineered holes connect the two sections. A traditional sparkplug is utilised as a backup to to the new ignition system, and is designed to make sure combustion is ongoing when load is such the pre-chamber’s services are not required. The final step is an innovative fuel injection system, with a direct and indirect system lowering consumption and emissions whilst ensuring fuel is appropriate across the rev range.

Lateral sparkplug: a traditional sparkplug acts as a support to ensure constant combustion when the engine is operating at a level that doesn’t need the pre-chamber to kick in. Twin injection system – direct and indirect: linked to the fuel supply pressure at 350bar, the system reduces noise low down on the rev range, lowering emissions and improving consumption.The MC20 itself will make its world debut proper in September and will showcase the work done at Maserati’s Modena HQ division There is the Maserati’s Modena facilities: the Maserati Innovation Lab on Via Emilia Ovest, the workshops on Via Delle Nazioni and developed at the Engine Hub, situated at the famous Viale Ciro Menotti address where it will be built. Currently the new production line and new paint shop are being modified to host the much-anticipated MC20. MC20 means Maserati Corse 2020.

Sparking The Ride: JLR Provides Electric Taxis.

Luxury sports car and SUV building company Jaguar Land Rover has agreed to support the capital of Norway, the City of Oslo with the world’s first high-powered wireless taxis.

In a programme known as ‘ElectriCity’, the global vehicle manufacturer will join Fortum Recharge (the region’s biggest charge point operator), Nordic taxi operator Cabonline (NorgesTaxi AS), along with US technology developer Momentum Dynamics, and the city itself to build wireless, high-powered charging infrastructure for taxis in the Norwegian capital. This lays the groundwork for Norway’s push to have, by 2025, all new cars sold as zero emission vehicles.

The project will be the first wireless high-powered charging system for electric taxis in the world. As a test bed it will prove the validity of providing a charging infrastructure model that can be implemented almost anywhere, and it will help the rapid adoption of electric vehicles globally.

Fortum Recharge, who will be supporting the installation and electrification of the project, have identified a need for a more efficient charging experience for taxi drivers in Oslo and have partnered with and enlisted the support of Momentum Dynamics in integrating the wireless charging infrastructure.

Jaguar Land Rover will provide 25 Jaguar I-PACE models to Cabonline, the largest taxi network in the Nordic region. The brand’s performance SUV has been designed to enable Momentum Dynamic’s wireless charging technology, making it an ideal vehicle to drive the initiative. A team of engineers and technicians from both Momentum Dynamics and Jaguar Land Rover were engaged to help in testing the solution, and Cabonline signed up to operate the fleet as part of Oslo’s ElectriCity programme.

For usage efficiency, taxi drivers need a charging system that does not take them off route during their working hours. Multiple charging plates rated at 50-75 kilowatts each, are installed in the ground in series at pick-up-drop-off points. This allows each equipped taxi to charge while queuing for the next fare. The below-ground and cableless system provides a no-contact method for charging, engages automatically and provides up to 50kW for an on average 6-8 minutes of energy per each charge. The taxi then receives multiple charges throughout the day on its return to the rank, maintaining a high battery state of charge and the ability to remain in 24/7 service without driving range restrictions.

The Oslo ElectriCity partnership is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to make societies healthier and safer, whilst reducing emissions. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving Destination Zero, a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Prof Sir Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive, said: “We’re extremely proud of our track record in electrification and we’re committed to making electric vehicles easier to own and use. The taxi industry is the ideal test bed for wireless charging, and indeed for high-mileage electric mobility across the board. The energy efficient and inherently safe,high-powered wireless charging platform will prove critical for electric fleets, as the infrastructure is more effective than refuelling a conventional vehicle. We’re delighted to be part of ElectriCity and to continue to lead the field in electric vehicle technology. This is a great step forward to reaching our Destination Zero mission.”

Arild Hermstad, the City of Oslo’s Vice Mayor for Environment and Transport, said: “We’re delighted to welcome private enterprises to help us to turn our vision into reality.

As part of our commitment to reducing emissions by 95 per cent before 2030, we have put many exciting measures in place, but transport continues to be a key challenge. By improving infrastructure and providing better charging to the taxi industry, we are confident that by 2024 all taxis in Oslo will be zero emission. To reach our goal, the public sector, politicians and private enterprises must come together, as we do in this project.”

2020 F1 Undergoes More Rescheduling.

As the Covid-19 situation continues to dominate world news, it’s also affected the once-tight schedule for Formula 1 in 2020. The new suite of regulations that were expected to come into play for 2021 has now been sensibly postponed until 2022. This allows all teams to be on an equal footing as possible and it’s also hoped that it will minimize the economic impact on the lesser funded teams.

The FIA released a statement that read in part: “Due to the currently volatile financial situation this has created, it has been agreed that teams will use their 2020 chassis for 2021, with the potential freezing of further components to be discussed in due course. The introduction and implementation of the financial regulations will go ahead as planned in 2021, and discussions remain ongoing between the FIA, Formula 1 and all teams regarding further ways to make significant cost savings.”

The schedule for this year has also been updated with the Dutch GP, Spanish GP, and the marquee Monaco GP all being canceled. With a current mooted restart date for 2020 being put forward as the end of May 2020, this is by no means a certainty due to the Covid-19 spread. This news also means that the Dutch GP, due to return to the schedule for the first time since 1985, will have to wait, along with the Spanish GP in Barcelona, says the FIA, until sometime later in 2020.

However, it’s also been declared that the Monaco round has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. A key part of the reasoning is the amount of infrastructure required to run such events in the tiny principality, with the end result is the Automobile Club de Monaco saying: “To all the fans, spectators, partners and our members, the Board of Directors wishes to express its sincere regrets that these two events cannot be postponed and under no circumstances, will it be possible to organize these events later this year.”

With respect to the regulations, it means all teams will need to use this year’s chassis design in 20

21. Again, this ensures as level a playing field as possible. “As possible” being the keywords here, like McLaren, for example, who were due to change powerplants in 2021. The team was due to switch from Renault engines to those from Mercedes, and with different designs for the blocks means the chassis itself needed to be modified.

Sitting on top of all of this, however, is a cost cap for each team and that’s $175 million per team from next year. This also means, and the catchwords here are “in theory,” that teams should still be able to develop their now 2022 cars under that cap. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/viva-dengi-credit.html

Covid-19 Strikes Formula 1, Melbourne's Round Gets Cancelled.

A statement from motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, has confirmed that the Melbourne F1 event, and all of the support events, has been cancelled. This link has the relevant information as of 10.45am March 13.

Update: it seems that the FIA may have had its hand partially forced by Mercedes. The team has advised the FIA of their desire to not participate in the scheduled first round in support of McLaren’s decision to withdraw after a member of their team was found to be Covid-19 positive. There is also the common sense part of this, with Mercedes stating as part of their notification: “We share the disappointment of the sport’s fans that this race cannot go ahead as planned. However, the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our team members and of the wider F1 community are our absolute priority. In light of the force majeure events we are experiencing with regards to the Coronavirus pandemic, we no longer feel the safety of our employees can be guaranteed if we continue to take part in the event. We empathise strongly with the worsening situation in Europe, most especially in Italy, and furthermore we do not feel it would be right to participate in an event where fellow competitors such as McLaren are unable to do so through circumstances beyond their control.”

It does appear that another and as yet unconfirmed reason was a decision by two drivers to depart Australia prior to the official announcement.It can only be presumed that their teams had notified the FIA of their intent if this is in fact the situation.

Comments from drivers include veteran Valtteri Bottas and rookie Nicholas Latifi. Bottas said via Twitter: “All I want to do is race. But safety and health comes first. Hope to be racing soon again! Stay safe everyone 🙏🏼” whilst a disappointed Latifi said: “It goes without saying that I was extremely excited to finally make my debut in Formula 1 this weekend but it will have to wait. The safety and well being of everyone involved has to be the priority. Stay safe everyone and hopefully we can go racing sometime soon.”

Australian hopeful, Daniel Ricciardo, echoed those thoughts with: “I’m devastated I can’t compete at my home GP here in Melbourne & get the season started. Ultimately though the right decision has been made & I think everyone can understand this is something we’ve never seen before. Sorry to all fans who came out for the support. Much love.”

The issue for many is the timing. Up until around 9am on Friday morning, March 13, it appeared that the day’s schedule would run, but unbeknownst to many and including F1 commentator Martin Brundle, the decision to cancel had in fact already been made, it simply hadn’t been communicated effectively.

The fallout from the decision is expected to be huge.
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2020 Toyota Supra GT: Private Fleet Car Review.

This Car Review Is About: A car that is heavy with legend and officially reborn, for the Australian market at least. Toyota’s Supra was last available only in Australia as a special import with limited numbers, however the fifth generation is a “properly approved” model and developed with markets such as Australia in mind. There are two trim levels, GT and GTS.

How Much Does It Cost?: Our driveaway price starts from $91,640 for our location. That’s in plain non-metallic red. Go for the pearl white as supplied and that jumps to $92,165. The Recommended Retail Price is $84,990, and as prices state by state vary thanks to dealer and government charges, check out the Toyota website for your location’s pricing.

Under The Bonnet Is: An engine that continues the legacy. It’s a 3.0L straight six with twin-scroll turbo, and it’s got some serious mumbo. 250kW and 500Nm with the latter available over a broad 1,600rpm to 4,500rpm range. There’s some contention, though, as Toyota haven’t elected to use an engine from their own catalogue. And in honesty, it’s a bit of a storm in a teacup as Toyota don’t manufacture a straight six, so BMW was called in. There’s more than a few hints of that brand’s DNA in the bodywork, interior, and the car’s heartbeat. The transmission is an eight speed auto, and when warmed up, allows a 0-100 time of 4.4 seconds. VMax is limited to 250kph.Incredibly it somehow produces those numbers using standard 91RON unleaded, and produces a combined fuel economy of 7.7L/100km. Our best was an incredible 6.3L/100km. This was on a run from our HQ to the home of Australian motorsport, Mt Panorama and back. What was noticeable was the starting expected range figure and the expected range on return. In real terms, we managed to travel 300km and see an expected range change of just 120km.

On The Outside Its: Shorter than it looks. It’s just 4,379mm in length, but an overall height of 1,292mm makes it look longer, especially in the pearlescent white the review car had. It’s wide too, with 1,854mm overall, whilst the wheelbase is 2,470mm.There’s some BMW hints, particularly around the rear. Think Z4 and the upturned bootlid spoiler, a svelte and curvaceous rear, a double humped roof, and long nose in proportion to the rest of the body. There’s a sine wave line that starts at the base of the deeply scalloped doors, heads rearwards to form the broad rear wheel arches, and goes horizontal to form the tail light clusters. The long nose has a gentle and increasing radius curve from the base of the windscreen to form a broad snout, including an almost F1 style nose cone. There are plastic faux-vent inserts in the front and rear guards, bonnet and door skins. They’re not airflow positive, as in they have no actual holes for flow. Both ends have black diffusers, with the nose emphasising the F1 styling by blacking out the centre section under the nose to highlight a pair of angles airfoils.Wheels are 18 inches in diameter and have ultra sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber. Profile is 255/40 and 275/40, front and rear. During our time on the road, the whole package proved to be an eyeball swiveller, attracting positive attention everywhere the Supra GT went, including a couple of thumbs up from pedestrians and truck drivers alike.On The Inside It’s: Snug, efficient, and somewhat 1990s, all at the same time. It’s a strict two seater, with absolutely no storage space other than a pair of console cup holders, door bottle holders, and a cramped cargo area with 296L. It is a sports car, after all. There’s some visual reminder of that thanks to a carbon-fibre look inlay in the console itself. Aircon controls are minimalised, as are the headlight controls, oddly placed as buttons above the driver’s right knee.A push button for Start/Stop is hidden somewhere above the driver’s left knee, there are a pair of paddles on the steering column for manual gear selection, and the console houses a dial for accessing information on the smallish touchscreen. The layout isn’t instantly user friendly and on start-up, will not move from an initial driver warning screen until a OK button is tapped.
Buried within the menus are options for car settings where a driver can select suspension, steering, and engine modes, along with audio and navigation. A Sport mode button changes the engine and transmission settings, plus opens the exhaust system for that extra rumble and snap/crackle/pop.

Behind the beautifully supportive, heated, seats is a strut brace that provides extra body rigidity. This takes up a little bit of room and also makes reaching rearwards into the cabin somewhat awkward. To access the cargo area there is a button in the driver’s door and a tab in the hatch itself. The low overall height also makes entering and exiting the Supra GT a little difficult for those not as flexible as others.Ahead of the driver is a dash screen that looks lifted from a 1990s design. It’s not a modern look and is at odds with the car’s ability. The defining feature is a rev counter dial in the centre, leading off to the right like a keyhole. There is quite a bit of wasted space in this area, with a small LCD screen showing limited information on the far right, and effectively only which gear and drive mode right in the centre.The audio system is loud and clear, operated via the touchscreen, yet there is a strip of station storage buttons on their own above the aircon buttons and below the centre air vents. This is spite of the steering wheel audio selection buttons.

On The Road It’s: A revelation. Firstly, there’s that sledgehammer engine. 500Nm across a rev range that most drivers wouldn’t exploit in normal usage makes for an incredibly tractable driveline. The engine fires into life at the press of the starter and settles quickly into a quiet thrum. The eight speed auto needs some time to warm up in order to achieve maximum smoothness. When cold it’s indecisive, hesitant, jerky. On song it’s razor sharp and millimetre perfect in its crisp changes.The steering is the same. Although weighted to the heavy side, the rack is ratioed to a two turn lock to lock, meaning a bare quarter turn has the front end responding rapidly. The broad rubber, unfortunately, brings in a phenomenon known as tramlining. Anything in a road’s surface in the direction of travel that resembles a rut, a gap, a tramline, also grabs the front end and steers it where the ruts head. The rear end isn’t left out, with a few noticeable hops and skips on broken surfaces.

We took the Supra GT on a run out to Bathurst and a couple of laps around Mt Panorama. On coarse chip tarmac there’s considerable road noise. The newer and smoother tarmac reduces that considerably but there’s still considerable audio jam. The ride quality in Sport mode is jiggly, bouncy, and there is just enough compliance in Sport mode to ensure teeth aren’t shaken loose.

Hit the Sport button in the console and this opens up the exhaust’s throats. There’s a subtle change to the change of gears, but the more noticeable change is the soundtrack. There’s now the rasp, the crackle of the overrun as gears change on deceleration. Standing start acceleration is stupendous, and the rev range for those torques also means rolling acceleration is as easy as thinking about it. Look, squeeze, warp speed.It’s this kind of engine delivery that is, unfortunately, very necessary for Australian roads given the generally average driving standards allowed to pass as safe driving. On the overtaking lanes and still well within the posted limit, the Supra GT proved that a car of around 1,800kg will take those 500Nm and put them to appropriate use, moving past the line of slower vehicles almost as if they didn’t exist. Naturally, this kind of forward moving ability needs stoppers to suit. With 348mm amd 320mm discs front and rear, and a pedal calibrated to move with a breath and tell you how many microns of steel are on the disc’s surface, safe stopping is guaranteed.

It’s this part of the drive experience that showcase the engineering ability and power/torque delivery perfectly. As tractable as the Supra GT is for around town running, the highway is a better place to exploit its mightiness, and then there’s the economy. With the powerhouse in cruise mode, it equals the more passenger oriented cars for fuel usage.On the public road that is Mt Panorama when it’s not a motorsport weekend, the Supra GT can be eased through the super tight and falling away from under you section just after passing through Skyline. The posted limit is 60kph, and the Supra is simply unfazed by that requirement. The torque is more than sufficient to haul the car upwards along Mountain Straight just as easily as it does on a flat road. It’s unflappable here and in day to day driving, making the Supra GT one of the best all round sports intended cars we’ve tested.What About Safety?: It is, as the Americans like to say, loaded for bear. Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Reverse Camera with Back Guide Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, plus Adaptive LED Headlamps and Adaptive High Beam. There are seven airbags. The Forward Collision Alert system was jittery, with a couple of warnings related to parked cars on corners, not moving traffic.

Warranty And Service?: Capped price servicing and a five year warranty. Information on those can be found here.

At The End Of the Drive. Toyota’s marketing research team are worth every cent they’re paid. Like almost all of the cars available from the Japanese giant, the Supra is a car for a market. I’m not in that market, but by no means immune to the Supra GT’s allure and beckoning 3.0L finger. It’s a performance powerhouse, a superbly tuned chassis, has a cabin that says sports car (bar the retro driver’s display), and positions itself as a more than worthy successor to the legend and history of Supra. Check it out for yourself here. http://credit-n.ru/informacija.html

2020 F1 Season Preview.

The Formula 1 season gets underway this weekend at Melbourne’s Albert Park. This year marks the 25th running of the F1 in Melbourne, a city that has hosted the opening round for all but two of those 25 years. Melbourne, a city of culture, coffee, and cool took over from Adelaide with the city hosting its first F1 GP in 1996.

2020’s season start has been overshadowed by the spread of the coronavirus or Covid-19. News came through on March 9 that Bahrain, the location of the second round, has closed the doors to paying punters, electing to host their round on a closed track.

2020 also sees some subtle changes to the car designs which will lead to bigger changes from 2021. There also has been some reshuffling of drivers and a name change for one team. Here’s how the season start will look.

Mercedes-AMG: The Silver Arrows will continue to run with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas for this year. Hamilton will come to Melbourne as the 2019 champion and hunting for eight wins this season. That’s important because to do so will have him equal and break Michael Schumacher’s record. The German driver totalled 91 wins and seven world championships in his stellar career. Hamilton himself is out of contract at the end of 2020 and is said to be holding off on discussions for the early part of the season.Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel came under friendly fire in 2019, with that coming from his new team mate, Charles Leclerc. The younger driver had his sights set firmly on the back of Vettel’s helmet, and racked up two wins and a number of podiums. Vettel is out of contract at the end of this year and it’s this that has some rumours about who may replace him in 2021.Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon will partner for 2020, and it’s a season that will have Verstappen wanting to improve even more on what was a solid performance in 2019. He claimed three race victories, nine podium finishes, two pole positions and three fastest laps. Albon was promoted from Toro Rosso to the main seat midway through the 2019 season and ended the year with a highest finish of 4th at Japan in round 17.

Renault: Perth born Daniel Ricciardo is one of the most talked about players in F1. After a solid if unrewarded stint with Red Bull, the Australian surprised many in 2018 by announcing a step that was seen as a sideways and backwards one. The move to Renault has thus proven frustrating for the publicly amiable Aussie, and this year, his second of a two year contract, is the one that has the rumour fingers pointing towards the Prancing Horse for 2021. Rumours only, at this stage. Esteban Ocon is his co-driver and elevated back to the main game after being punted from Racing Point at the end of 2018.AlphaTauri: Formerly known as Toro Rosso, the second tier team has a new sponsor and a new look. Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat are the drivers for 2020. Officially known as Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda, the team’s new look is a spectacular black on white look. The name itself is still part of the Red Bull family, with a fashion brand based in Salzburg, Austria. Gasly was placed into the team after failing to fire in the main Red Bull team in 2019.Haas: The drivers for 2020 are again Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. The pair have campaigned together since 2017 and have proven to be a capable force, challenging hard in the mid-pack of the twenty car field. 2018 was their best year whereas 2019 proved to be a showcase of what happens when a car simply doesn’t do what the drivers want. Owned by Gene Haas, the American team has shown, in 2020 pre-season testing, that they may regain their mid-pack pace.

McLaren: A long way from their heyday and, after a frankly lousy season in 2017, the team moved from Honda engines to Renault for 2018. The initial results were promising with forty points from the first five races of 2018. The rest of the season would see just ten points awarded. The drivers are Carlos Sainz and young Briton Lando Norris. The improvement in the 2019 season was slow but always upward, with a 3rd place at Brazil in 2019 for Sainz.

Williams: Formerly a glory team, recent years have seen very slim pickings for the once well respected name. Founded by Sir Frank Williams over forty years ago, it’s not unfair to say that 2019 was the lowest point in its history. In a 21 race season, just one single point was scored by drivers George Russell and veteran Robert Kubica. The Polish driver returned for one season however failed to make an impression. Russell partners with Nicholas Latifi this year, a Canadian born driver with F1 test and reserve driver experience.Alfa Romeo: Once known as Sauber, and a former host to Charles Leclerc, Alfa Romeo will have Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi again helming their cars. The pair performed solidly in 2019 yet were denied points for their efforts as the previous year’s good placings evaporated at the hands of a car that saw the team place 8th overall in 2019.

Racing Point: The former Force India team will also have a return of their 2019 drivers. Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, had a feisty 2019 and managed to finish 7th in the constructors’ championship. The previous year had the cloud of uncertainty hoerving over the team, and thanks to the change of ownership bringing a much needed financial boost, the team hopes to see 2020 end with better rewards than last year.

The first F1 GP for 2020 sees a race start on Sunday March 15 at 16:10 local time. http://credit-n.ru/business-kredit.html

Lexus Expands Owners' Program.

Lexus has announced an expansion of its Encore Owner Benefits program. Capped price servicing has been added, further complementing the award-winning Lexus customer care services. The addition of this will assist in peace-of-mind transactions for Lexus owners, knowing ahead of booking the pricing structure in a transparent manner. There’s some nice added extras as standard too, including complimentary pick-up and return of the vehicle from home or work, a loan car, plus an exterior wash and interior vacuum.

The new program started on January 1 and will be included in all deliveries from that date. There is no up-front service plan charge as a result and provides the flexibility to individually select each service over three years for the same price at any dealership nationwide.Pricing is model dependent. The Lexus CT, UX, IS, NX, ES, GS, and RC models start from $495 for each of the first three annual/15,000km standard logbook services. The RX, RC F, GS F, LC, and LS are $595. LX owners have a slightly different schedule and pricing. The first six bi-annual or 10,000km services will be $495.

For existing members, and those that will purchase a Lexus in 2020, the Lexus Encore program has some wonderful incentives and additions. Areas such as dining experiences, hotel stays, and luxury tastes of lifestyles, and even access for buyers of pre-owned Lexus vehicles are involved. A Lexus Encore membership for 12 months will be available to those that purchase an approved pre-owned Lexus through a Lexus dealership. A caveat is that it does involve excluding capped-price servicing for vehicles outside original three-year membership period.The guidelines here are simple: the vehicles must be no older than eight years or have covered no more than 120,000 kilometres, a complete Lexus service history must be available, and a 120-point check will be performed. A new Lexus app will debut in April, 2020, permitting Encore members to access events and offers in real time and book via the smartphone app at their leisure.When it comes to luxury stays, members have a great range of options. Encore Members are invited to indulge in some of Australia’s most exclusive hotels thanks to an evolving list of hotel partners around the country. One option is the Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley, an ultra-luxury resort located in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage-listed region. Items such as a glass of wine from the region on arrival, a Signature Wildlife and Sundowners tour for two and more will be available. Oh, late check out? Absolutely.

There is now also a luxury wellness experience. Two nights at Jackalope Hotel on the spectacular Morninton Peninsular and the ability to participate in meditation sessions, yoga, spas, and access to a Lexus via the Hotel itself to sample the local region. Other events such as golf days, high end dinners, and bespoke drive days are also part of the Lexus Encore package. Lexus Chief Executive Scott Thompson said the Encore Owner Benefits program will be expanded throughout 2020, ensuring that Lexus delivers a new standard as the leader in luxury experience for a greater number of owners. “Lexus owners have given us both their unwavering loyalty and outstanding feedback about Lexus ownership, and our aim this year is to give back with more amazing experiences than ever before.” Mr Thompson added: “Lexus understands there is no greater privilege for its owners than time, so whether it be the ease of servicing, or the enjoyment of track days, dining nights and getaways, Lexus Encore will speed up or slow down time for our owners.”

Contact your Lexus dealership for details. http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/online-zaym-na-kartu-payps.html