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Racing

Gallery: Over 70 years of Porsche’s history in pictures

To celebrate over 70 years of Porsche, Motorsport Images revisited its archive to compile some of the best pictures from the German marque’s rich history.

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Car Reviews

Car leasing scam: Fraudsters advertise fake vehicle contracts to catch out motorists

Car leasing is the latest target for fraudsters with organised criminals aiming to use the coronavirus pandemic as a way to scam motorists out of their money. Fraudsters have been seen advertising fake leasing deals online or posing as companies willing to offer changes to their payment plan during the crisis. 

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  • Don’t be caught out by this DVLA car tax scam

These scams may offer road users a competitive deal and take relevant payment information without providing a vehicle.

Scammers can also set up fake email accounts and social media channels using names of genuine brokers. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued a warning to the public about an expected rise in scam activity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysis from campaign group Take Five to Stop Fraud says just nine percent of Britons can spot a scam. 

This can leave many motorists caught out and could give criminals easy access to personal information. 

Tom Preston, Managing Director of Hippo Leasing said: “The FCA recently issued a warning to the public about an expected rise in scam activity following the disruption and anxieties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s a time when many of us are worrying about our job security and finances which can prove lucrative for fraudsters.”

Road users are advised by car experts Hippo Leasing to take extra precautions to avoid being caught out by the car scam. 

Motorists can protect themselves from the scam and prevent handing information to criminals through five simple tips and tricks. 

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Is it too good to be true? 

Motoring expert, Tom Preston, says if a deal is too good to be true then it probably will be. 

He says all legitimate companies adhere to rules set out by the FCA and will carry out checks before offering you a deal. 

These businesses will not contact you through email or text messages to offer motorists lower monthly premiums so these may be a scam. 

Does it sound too complicated? 

Tom Preston says scammers will often hit victims with jargon to confuse them into agreeing to a policy. 

However, leasing companies will usually give you clear information about key information such as deposits and payment information. 

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  • Avoid buying a vehicle with a clocked mileage today

Research as much as possible 

Some scammers have upped their game by paying for advertising space on social media apps.

Motorists who see an accept online should always search up the company’s website and contact details to see if this sounds legitimate. 

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) can also inform you whether the company is a genuine leasing broker before signing up to an agreement. 

Don’t break under pressure

Honest salesmen will provide you with information and give you time to make a decision of whether the policy is right for you. 

If someone is rushing you to sign an agreement you should not trust them and could show something is not right.

Report it if in doubt 

Motorists should report any scam top Action Fraud for further investigation. Just 14 percent of cases were reported in 2017 despite a total of 4.7 million incidents of fraud. 

Tom Preston said: “If you’ve come across a car leasing scam, or fallen victim to one, it’s important to report it so steps can be taken to close the fake social media account, website or email address before others get caught in the trap.”

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Auto News

Soul Vs Venue: Which Small South Korean Hatch Is Best?

Let’s get one thing clear: Kia Motors is owned by the Hyundai Group. Although their product lines follow different formulas, much of what the two brands sell happens to be closely related. For example, the Kia Stinger and the Genesis G70 are based on the same platform but are tuned very differently. The subjects of this comparison, the similar-sized Kia Soul and Hyundai Venue, are not based on the same platform. This is a problem for the Hyundai, trust me.

Underneath, the Kia Soul is, well, a Kia Soul, and it was a MotorTrend Car of the Year finalist last year because it was good. Very good. But what two automakers do with a shared platform can yield very different results—especially if the use cases are different.

Normally, when comparing cars from related automakers, we’d be splitting hairs and fixating on the finest details to try to come away with a winner. Not so this time. The only areas where these two South Korean mini-SUVs get competitive are price and fuel economy. This might be enough to sway some buyers, but in the end the Soul is the better car in almost every way.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which Is the Better Value?

The Venue is the less expensive car here. Starting at $18,470, but optioned up to $23,405 for our purposes, the Venue undercuts the Soul’s base price of $18,610 and its as-tested price of $25,455. For that money both cars get peppy four-cylinder engines—though the engine in the Venue is the smaller of the two, at just 1.6 liters to the Soul’s 2.0-liter mill. Both are mated to continuously variable transmissions and are front-wheel drive.

According to the EPA, both cars will get at least 30 miles to the gallon on the combined cycle. The Soul with its 2.0-liter gets 27/33/30 mpg, but the Venue is a bit more efficient. The little 1.6-liter four-cylinder under its teeny hood earns an EPA estimated 30/34/32 mpg. That said, all fuel-sippers are not created equal, and the 2.0-liter in the Soul feels like a much stronger and smoother powertrain despite giving up 2 mpg to the Venue. The real winner here on your purchase priorities.

The Hyundai’s 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque feels adequate until you try to merge onto a freeway or take it up a steep grade. Then it runs out of puff entirely, and you’re flogging the poor thing to accrue any speed whatsoever. Full-throttle demands make the Venue feel asthmatic.

Despite only having an extra 26 hp and 19 lb-ft of twist, the engine in the Soul is much more up to the job of motivating the little hamster-mobile. It also sounds less grainy; at full throttle the engine doesn’t sound like a food processor filled with gravel. It pulls smoothly into the far reaches of its rev range, and the CVT doesn’t transmit nearly as much whine into the cabin as the Venue’s.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which Is Better to Drive?

The Soul is the easier car to drive in almost any situation. The engine won’t scream at you as you trundle up steep hills and on-ramps. The whole powertrain feels less strained, and passing requires less planning; merging into gaps in traffic is a much simpler affair in the Soul. That said, their tested acceleration numbers are nearly identical (unimpressively so). Either will get you where you need to go.

As you’re scything your way through rush hour traffic you’ll no doubt notice how comfortable and stable the Soul is, too. It feels rock solid in both the way it’s built and in the way it glides across the road. The ride in the Kia is buttery smooth for a small car, and it’s much quieter at speed than its South Koran counterpart.

The Venue, on the other hand, walks around on the highway and requires a concerning amount of jockeying at the wheel to keep it tracking straight. That’s partly due to the fact that it weighs next to nothing—just 2,699 pounds soaking wet.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which Has the Better Interior?

Why is it so light? Well, there’s a lot of lightweight plastic inside. The Venue clearly has the most spartan interior in its class. It also feels as though it was built to satisfy a price point and not a quality standard. The dash is one giant slab of plastic that creaks as you thump the car over small bumps or drive up inclined surfaces. The entire interior is a mishmash of gray and black polypropylene, and there isn’t a single piece of soft-touch material anywhere.

The Venue’s lack of interior quality is more obvious (or, perhaps more egregious) when it comes to padding for the driver’s elbows. It would be understandable if Hyundai threw together a plastic interior and added softer materials to the driver’s touchpoints—the steering wheel, gear selector, armrests, and so on. You know, the important bits. But even those areas are left bare. Not adding elbow pads isn’t just an exercise in obvious cost-cutting, it’s straight up mean.

There are decent storage solutions in both cars, but the Soul’s back seat is both roomier and a more comfortable place to be. That’s where the Soul’s 3.2 additional inches of wheelbase pays off. Plus, the longer wheelbase delivers a better ride, meaning passengers won’t be knocked around as often. For your stuff, the Soul delivers 23.4. cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up, compared to the Venue’s 18.7 cubes.

They may both be small cars, but those couple extra inches here and there can make a huge difference. But the difference gets much bigger if you can fold the rear seats down. With the second row folded, the Venue offers 31.9 cubic feet to play with, whereas the Soul offers nearly double that at 62.1 cubic feet.

Because the Soul we used for this test was an EX model and not the base car, it has a fold-out center armrest in the rear. The Venue doesn’t offer one on any of its trims—but the Soul LX, S, and X-line versions don’t have one, either.

The Venue and Soul share the Hyundai group’s now-ubiquitous infotainment setup, adapted to different screen sizes. It’s in everything from the luxurious Genesis G70 to the Kia Telluride, and it appears in both the Soul and the Venue. The unit is clear, easy to use, snappy, and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This part of the comparison is a draw, but there’s no going wrong either way when it comes to interior tech.

In every other regard, though, life is much better inside the Soul. The interior is dressed up with much nicer materials, and the hard plastics are hidden away, below your beltline and out of view. Where they do exist, they’re better executed in the Kia. And yes, it does indeed have a padded elbow rest on the driver’s side door. The Soul also has more room for all your junk.

Despite hailing from automakers that are very closely related, these cars are worlds apart. They’re closely matched when it comes to infotainment, efficiency, and their convenient packaging, but the Soul has, well, soul. The Venue is purpose-built entry-level transportation. The Venue stumbles because it doesn’t seem to be as well thought out or well built as the Soul.

Kia Soul vs. Hyundai Venue: Which One Should You Buy?

Although the two cars’ base prices are nearly equivalent, the as-tested Venue is more than two grand cheaper than the Soul. Divided up over five years of car payments, that $2,040 becomes an extra $34 a month (without interest) to get into the Soul. If you were to point-blank ask me, “Is the Kia Soul a few trips to Starbucks per month better than the Hyundai Venue?” my answer would be, without hesitation, yes.

However, most folks buy their first cars and (hopefully) migrate upward in short order. So if you’re just starting out in your career and figure you’ll own your Venue or Soul for just three years, then the monthly price gap grows to $65 a month. And for someone just starting out, that could be enough to swerve your decision to the less expensive Venue.

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Car Reviews

Road traffic falls by up to three-quarters during lockdown

Road traffic had fallen to 73 per cent less than normal by 29 March, but is starting to increase again despite the lockdown


Road traffic in the UK initially fell by almost three-quarters during the coronavirus lockdown, according to new Government data, but is now on the rise again.

Since 27 February, the Cabinet Office has been releasing daily traffic figures to accompany the Government’s coronavirus press conferences. At first, this data showed a dramatic fall in the number of vehicles on the road.

  • Spike in road accidents during 10-minute evening period

The lowest levels seen were on 29 March, when there were 73 per cent fewer motor vehicles using the roads than pre-coronavirus. However, although traffic levels fell steadily up until this point, the numbers are now going back up.

In spite of the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, road traffic levels have now started increasing again. The latest figure available is for 3 April and showed there were 63 per cent fewer vehicles on the UK’s roads than pre-coronavirus.

The news follows the Government’s persistent messages to the British public that they must remain in their homes at all times, unless doing one of the following things:

  • Shopping for essential items (e.g. food and medicine) as rarely as possible
  • Taking one form of exercise per day (e.g. walking, running or cycling) alone or with members of the same household
  • Attending medical appointments
  • Assisting an elderly or vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work (only if working from home is not possible)

In spite of the clear advice, there have been numerous reported cases of people breaking lockdown rules, leading to suggestions that the Government could tighten the law even further.

Although there has undoubtedly been a significant drop in the number of people driving their cars, as shown by the figures, the increase in road traffic since 29 March could be indicative of a few drivers starting to disobey the rules by taking unnecessary journeys.

Do you think tougher lockdown measures should be imposed? Let us know the comments below…

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Car Reviews

Jonny Smith Calls VW e-Up! 'The Anti-Tesla EV'

He reviews a new VW e-Up!, argues its simplicity is actually somewhat refreshing.

There are plenty of EVs out there that are designed to shout about being electric and make you feel different compared to a conventional gas or diesel car. These are ideal for those who want an EV to make them feel more special than a normal car and those people probably won’t appreciate the honest simplicity of the Volkswagen e-Up!.

At launch, it had a small 18.7 kWh battery pack and it didn’t offer a lot of usable range, but the latest version of the electric Up! fixes that problem. It now comes with a 32.3 kWh pack that grants it a WLTP range of 260 km.

Its main advantage, though, is that it’s quite affordable by EV standards. And its sister models, the Skoda Citigo iV and SEAT Mii Electric are cheaper still and they offer the exact same powertrain.

As Jonny Smith puts it in his review of his e-Up! long term loaner (which he picked up after taking back the e-Golf he’d been driving for two years), it doesn’t feel luxurious or techy and for this reason he calls it ‘the anti-Tesla.’ In fact, with exposed metal inside and not that many features, it feels pretty spartan, but if you can get over that (and aren’t explicitly looking for a premium feeling car), then it’s definitely an EV worth considering.

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Auto News

Truck-Loving Hero Builds Ford Ranger Dually With 7.3-L Twin-Turbo Diesel Engine

While we’ve seen our share of desert-thrashing Ford Ranger pre-runners in the past, this homebuilt dually creation is something else entirely. Instead of capitalizing on the truck’s small size and relatively light weight to build an off-road all-star, the owner of this ’95 model swapped in a monstrous 7.3-liter Powerstroke diesel engine along with an extra turbo to develop a love-it-or-hate-it truck for the ages. Whether or not it can actually tow much is unclear, but this pickup has to turn more heads than any other Ranger ever concocted.

According to a quick write-up on Engine Swap Depot, the Ford belongs to William Medeiros, who documented parts of the build process on the Ranger Station forum. In order to make room for the venerable diesel V-8, the truck’s old power plant had to be taken out and the engine bay expanded (a 4.0-liter V-6 was the largest unit available for this generation of Ranger, or any for that matter). The firewall and transmission tunnel were modified to accommodate the compression-ignition lump, and a new, taller hood was needed to fit the twin-turbo setup and intercooler piping. 

You can see the engine running in a short clip here:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=nzCzp6JKrg0%3Frel%3D0

Given its position in such a cramped space, the Powerstroke needs a bit of help keeping cool, which is supplied by 32- by 18-inch aluminum four-core radiator and two electric fans.

Power is sent to an E4OD automatic transmission, which came standard in many of the old body style Ford heavy-duty pickups. An upgraded rear-end was more than necessary to keep up with the engine’s additional torque, so Medeiros fitted a Dana 70 axle out of an ’81 Ford F-350. The extra weight up front is handled by a Dana 35 Twin Traction Beam with upgraded Dana 44 knuckles and a set of 3/4-ton, eight-lug spindles.

Dual rear wheels are there more or less to complete the look, but we’ll give them a pass since proper fenders have been built to cover the extra tire width. The massive shackle hanging from the rear hitch is a nice touch, too.

We can’t say that this is a build we’d take on ourselves, but for the sake of entertainment and keeping the internet’s unbeatable reputation for absurdity alive, we’re glad it exists.

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Racing

Williams furloughs staff, management and drivers take pay cuts

Williams has confirmed it has placed a number of its Formula 1 staff on furlough as well as introducing pay cuts for its drivers and senior management members.

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact F1, teams are anticipating financial difficulties onset by a lack of revenue due to the cancelled races.

McLaren was the first to officially announce last week it would be taking advantage of a government scheme that allows companies to furlough staff, paying 80% of wages up to £2,500 per month.

In a statement issued by Williams on Monday, the British team announced it had also started furloughing staff, as well as confirming pay cuts for a number of the senior team members, including drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

“Due to the ongoing situation involving COVID-19, ROKiT Williams Racing is temporarily furloughing a number of employees as part of a wider range of cost-cutting measures,” the statement reads.

“The furlough period will last until the end of May whilst senior management, and our drivers, have taken a pay cut of 20% effective from 1st April.

“These decisions have not been taken lightly, however our aim is to protect the jobs of our staff at Grove and ensuring they can return to full-time work when the situation allows.”

Williams deputy boss Claire Williams previously said the team would look to “safeguard” its business, accounting for a loss of revenue from races being called off – the hosting fees for which fund F1 prize money.

The F1 season is currently on hiatus as officials wait to see how the pandemic will impact further events, having already called off the opening eight races of the season.

The most recent statement from CEO Chase Carey said F1 was targeting a 15-18 race calendar starting over the summer, but doubts remain over the viability of the events in the coming months.

Carey is set to take part in a conference call with the bosses from all 10 F1 teams on Monday afternoon to give the latest updates on the situation.

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Racing

Williams drivers join pay cut list, staff furloughed

Williams has joined McLaren in officially announcing pay cuts for senior staff and its drivers, whilst placing some other members of staff on furlough.

With no Formula 1 racing for the foreseeable future, teams are understandably feeling the pinch when it comes to finances.

Whilst teams are saving money in some areas with the likes of the new regulations being delayed, the drying up of main revenue streams are forcing them into other protective measures.

McLaren, who have led through example throughout these difficult times, were first to take advantage of the measure brought into effect by the UK government, who will cover 80 per cent of a person’s wage if they are furloughed, while Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris were also confirmed to be taking pay cuts to help ease the financial burden on their team.

Now George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, as well as senior management, are all taking a 20 per cent pay cut at Williams, which was effective from April 1. Other members of staff have been placed on temporary furlough initially until the end of May.

As part of a short statement issued on the Williams website, it said: ‘These decisions have not been taken lightly, however our aim is to protect the jobs of our staff at Grove and ensuring they can return to full-time work when the situation allows.’

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Car Reviews

The Abt RS6-R Accelerates To 62mph As Fast As A McLaren 570S

Image via Auditography

If you liked the sheer brashness of Abt’s new RS7-R but need a bigger boot, the German tuner has supplied a solution. It’s the RS6-R, and the setup is much the same: more power, a production limit of 125, and in Abt’s words, “Carbon EVERYTHING!!” Yes, that’s verbatim.

As with the RS7-R, the RS6-R’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 has been boosted from 592bhp to 720bhp, while the torque has swelled from 590 to 679lb ft. Four-tenths have been slashed from the 0-62mph time, with the RS6-R taking just 3.2 seconds to hit the benchmark speed.

Image via Auditography

That’s as fast as a McLaren 570S, matching the supercar-bothering antics of another circa-two tonne V8 hulk – the BMW M8. It’s all thanks to the ‘Abt Power R’ upgrade, and although there are no details as to what that involves, previous thusly-titled kits from the company have comprised of tuning boxes, exhaust systems and beefed-up intercoolers.

Also on the menu are new coilovers, upgraded anti-roll bars and some 22-inch ‘Abt High Performance HR’ wheels. If 22s sound a little excessive, don’t forget – the standard C8 RS6 can be optioned with wheels that big if desired.

Mclaren - The Abt RS6-R Accelerates To 62mph As Fast As A McLaren 570S - Tuning

Along with the enormo-wheels, the RS6-R has – staying true to Abt’s promise – an absurd amount of carbon fibre. There’s a new front splitter, trim on top of the front grille, side skirts, a boot spoiler and a rear diffuser all made from carbon. Our favourite element is the CF rear windscreen – it’s almost as though someone added louvres and cut a chunk out of the middle, and it looks smashing, we think.

Mclaren - The Abt RS6-R Accelerates To 62mph As Fast As A McLaren 570S - Tuning

Prices haven’t been divulged by Abt, but the company has said it’s already taking €10,000 deposits for the 125 due to be made.

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Auto News

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years - News

Right now, movement in the UK is severely restricted. British citizens have been told to “only go outside for food or health reasons or travelling to and from work but only where you cannot work from home,” and as such, that’s had a dramatic effect on traffic levels.

Following the announcement of the measures on 23 March – intended to curtail the spread of Covid-19 – UK motor vehicle traffic plummeted by 73 per cent compared to the same time in February, according to Department for Transport figures.

Road Traffic In The UK Drops 73% To Levels Not Seen In 65 Years - News

As reported by The Guardian, these kinds of traffic levels haven’t been seen since 1955. And remember, the road network was a lot smaller then, with the first motorway not built until 1958. As a consequence, the UK’s highways will seem deathly quiet in places.

It’s the same story across all modes of transport. Rail journeys, for instance, dropped by 90 per cent, while bus journeys in London are at just 17 per cent of the normal volume.

Traffic jams: a thing of the past, for now at least...

A week on from the announcement of the new restrictions – the contravention of which could land you with a £60 fine for the first offence – traffic did increase slightly. It was down a more modest 63 per cent compared to pre-lockdown levels.

Public Health England medical director Doctor Yvonne Doyle called the increase “concerning,” reiterating the government’s message for people to “stay at home”. We’ll update this piece with the latest traffic figures when available.

It’ll be interesting to see if the drastic lifestyle changes Coronavirus has forced upon us will have a longer-term impact on traffic. Many employees and firms will be finding that, in actual fact, sticking a load of people in an expensive office building five days a week isn’t always necessary.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a rise in remote working even when all this is over, with this unprecedented period of modern history proving to be a big home-working experiment for a lot of companies and employees. Such a change in working habits would mean fewer commutes and quieter roads for those who do actually need to get somewhere at rush hour, and less pollution. Sounds good, no?

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