From the sublime to the ridiculous, this week we’re taking a look at things to look out for in the world of cars this summer.
Everything from beautiful new drop-tops to Car Yoga (yes, really), features in this look at the sunny side of motoring.
If you’re looking for a new car visit www.exchangeandmart.co.uk/new-cars and www.s1cars.com/new-cars
Aston Martin has, gulp, gone electric
Less than two years after being unveiled as a concept, Aston Martin has confirmed that the all-electric RapidE will enter production in 2019. Set for a limited production run of 155 cars, the RapidE is Aston Martin’s first all-electric model.
Aston says the RapidE sees a continuation of the collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, which worked on the original RapidE Concept. Based in Grove, Oxfordshire, Williams Advanced Engineering will assist Aston Martin with the complex task of engineering integration.
Based upon the forthcoming Rapide AMR concept, RapidE will deliver four-door sports car looks and dynamics of the Rapide S powered by an all-electric powertrain replacing the six-litre V12 engine.
But that’s all they’re saying for now. More information will be revealed about the RapidE’s all-electric powertrain in the future. And the price, no doubt. The company said: “The instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.”
McLaren’s 570S has gone topless for summer
McLaren has unveiled a Spider version of its 570S – just in time for the summer sun. It becomes the third bodystyle in the range, alongside the Coupe and GT.
It’s due to make its world debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed and is available to order now at £164,750. It has a retractable hardtop that uses the tech from the 650S and 675LT Spiders and it adds just 46kg to the car’s weight.
The roof can be opened or closed in 15 seconds at speeds up to 25mph. The Spider also gets an extended rear spoiler, which is 12mm higher, to compensate for the change in body shape.
The Spider still gets the 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with seven-speed gearbox, producing, you’ve guessed it, 570ps. That’s good for 62mph in 3.2 seconds and a top end of 204mph – exactly the same as the coupe. With the roof down it’ll do 196mph.
And Audi’s R8 Spyder just got the big engine
The most powerful Audi engine ever destined for series production is about to raise the tempo in the R8 Spyder. The gloriously vocal – we know, we’ve driven it – V10, 610ps, engine from the V10 plus coupe is now available in the drop-top.
So that’s 62mph in 3.3 seconds and a 200+mph top speed. Available to order in the UK shortly, the R8 Spyder V10 plus will be priced from £147,470.
Spec highlights include R8 bucket seats, liberally applied carbon fibre-reinforced polymer components inside and out, ceramic brakes, the R8-specific Audi Virtual Cockpit and the option of an exclusive micrommata green paint finish for an even more cutting-edge look.
“The Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus completes the R8 model line,” said Stephan Winkelmann, MD of Audi Sport. “The Spyder is now also available as a 610PS top version in addition to the Coupé.
“It benefits from our many years of experience in motorsport and combines breathtaking dynamics with the emotion of an open-top sports car.”
There’s a new Mercedes E-Class soft top
The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet is now available to order. It costs from £44,675 for the E 220 d AMG Line Cabriolet and is a full four-seater, with a multi-layer acoustic fabric roof that can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph and opened or closed in just 20 seconds.
Four engines are on offer - a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 194hp; a 3.0-litre V6 unit with an output of 258hp; a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 245hp and the range-topping E 400 4MATIC, with a 3.0-litre biturbo V6 engine generating 333hp.
Standard specification for the E-Class Cabriolet is based on that of the E-Class Coupé, with the addition of the Airscarf neck-level heating system and Aircap, which helps to redirect the air flow over the cabin for a more relaxing driving experience.
Other standard equipment includes: Agility Control suspension; Magic Vision Control wiper system; LED high performance headlights; reversing camera; heated front seats; and ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours.
A pretty sophisticated way to get the wind in your hair this summer, we reckon.
Car Yoga is a thing this summer
Yes, really. With long summer drives on the way, Citroën has teamed up with Yoga teacher Michael James Wong to launch Citroën ‘Car Yoga’, which features five unique ‘Car Yoga’ poses.
Inspired by the new Citroën C3 and the Citroën Advanced Comfort programme to promote relaxed and stress-free driving, each pose has been designed to enhance the well-being of Yoga-practising drivers and passengers alike.
We’re not making this up.
Citroen says the ‘Car Yoga’ poses “encourage drivers to switch off their engines and find their inner calm with in-car meditation techniques utilising some of the Citroën Advanced Comfort features on-board”.
With the summer holidays fast approaching and many Brits expected to pack up their cars for a staycation, ‘Car Yoga’ will help ensure a relaxing drive – whether that’s with the ‘Hands Up, Back and Forward’ move to warm up and engage the shoulders, or the ‘6 Point Turn’ Yoga pose to loosen the spine ready to drive.
For those wishing to stretch their legs, drivers can open their car door and loosen tight hamstrings with ‘The Ham Sandwich’ while resting against the soft Airbump panels on the sides of the car.
Alternatively, the ‘The Rest Stop’ pose will help to re-energise the body after a long period of driving, or after being stuck in traffic, which can heighten stress levels.
During rest breaks, or upon reaching the final destination, there’s also the ‘Driver Warrior’ pose. Standing with both legs firmly grounded, you need to place your hands on the boot sill before extending each leg behind in turn.
This pose will relax your legs after a long drive, says Citroen.