With the recent culmination of the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, you’d expect the automobile world to stop for a minute to appreciate the speed demons that were just born. Yet the industry continues to speed through the rest of the year with some pretty sweet rides.
There’s yet another centenary celebration as Aston Martin throws a hell of a party for its iconic and beloved coachbuilding partner Zagato. While Jaguar and Mini pave the way for the future with two new all-electric vehicles, Novitec has managed to make the McLaren even thirstier by creating an even more aggressive 600LT.
For the lowdown on these cars, read on.
The race for electrification has meant that Jaguar is right on the tails of Tesla and the likes with yet another offering. That, and a massive billion-dollar overhaul of its manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich in the U.K.
Its second all-electric car will be the XJ, and it’ll be developed by the same team that created the i-Pace, it’ first electric vehicle. The XJ has long been Jaguar’s answer to the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8, but this update would mean it’ll also move into territories occupied by the Audi e-Tron GT and Porsche Taycan too.
When it arrives, the all-wheel drive XJ will be driven by four electric motors, each of which is slated to produce as much as 200hp. No better time too, since the very last of the current generation XJ has already rolled off the production line.
The Mini Cooper SE might have just been revealed but it’s already been the talk of the town ever since it successfully towed a Boeing 777 freighter in May. The nifty little ride will not only be the first Mini to sport an all-electric motor, but will also be the first premium small car to do so, paving the way for many others to come.
When it launches, the SE will see 181hp at its beck and call, and will get from 0-100kph in 7.3 seconds, with a limited top speed of 150kph. It might be a brand new car within — a single charge will get you around 269km — but on the outside, it’s still largely the same Mini that you know and love.
Aston Martin has been in the business of producing pretty sweet rides for a long time, but it is really Italian design firm Zagato which should be credited for some of its best. Now that the aforementioned outfitter is celebrating its 100-year anniversary, the British manufacturer has understandably pulled out more than just confetti to celebrate.
A wild exaggeration of what an Aston Martin can and should look like, the DBS GT Zagato arrives with one of the best grilles in the market. It’s comprised of 108 individual diamond-shaped carbon fibre pieces, each fluttering into life to adjust the aerodynamic profile of the car when needed. The highlight, however, remains to be the lack of rear visibility, since a solid piece of carbon fibre has now replaced plebeian glass.
There will only be 19 examples of this car — of which comes as a set with the “new” DB4 GT Zagato Continuation cars at S$10.7 million.
To many, the McLaren 600LT was regarded as the one to beat when it was unveiled last year as the automaker’s range-topping Sports Series model. Novitec obviously isn’t convinced because it’s just given the punchy rocket even more juice via a performance kit named the Performance Stage 2.
When you get with this fancily-named kit is a very aggressive 3.8-litre turbocharged V8 that makes 688hp and 712Nm of twist (up from 600p and 620Nm). It’ll only take 2.8 seconds for the car to surpass the 100kph mark before reaching its maximum potential of 333kph. The car is also dropped 30mm and then given bigger 20- and 21-inch Vossen wheels because space between your tires and wheel arches are over-rated.
It is a tuned car, after all, and there’s a new trunk lid and a racecar-like carbon airbox for a sportier disposition to prove it on the outside.
And it starts with the brand new CLA45. The 2020 iteration has finally been unveiled after plenty of teasers, and it’s obviously now more aggressive both inside and out. Besides the replacement of the signature shark nose with an AMG-specific radiator grille — a first for AMG’s compact models — the hood also gets aerodynamic power domes and winder front fenders with flared wheel arches.
Under the hood lurks a turbocharged four-cylinder that will produce 382hp and 480Nm in standard trim, allowing it to hit 100kph in just a little over four seconds and then on towards a limited top speed of almost 250kph. Other perks include a unique all-wheel-drive system that allows for intelligent handling, racecar-worthy interiors, and an updated instrument panel.
BMW’s X6 was a hit when it first came out in 2009, but it wasn’t just a regular hit. It also triggered a whole new category of coupe-like crossovers, such as Porsche’s Cayenne Coupe and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.
As pioneering as its silhouette once was, it is time for an upgrade and the 2020 X6 aims to recapture hearts again with a little more than a new kidney grille that actually lights up. Two engine options will be offered at launch: A 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder that makes 335hp, and a 523hp M Performance V8. The new base model sees a 33hp increase from its predecessor, and will complete the 100kph sprint in 5.2 seconds.
While the new X6 will come loaded with plenty of tech — driver assistance included — options for a more rugged kit can be had if you’re planning a trip to the wild outdoors.