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Car Reviews

Why You Should Wait To Buy Tesla's Full Self-Driving Option

It’s not Full Self-Driving yet and it may not be for a long time.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving capability has the potential to change the automotive industry as we know it. However, it’s taking Tesla plenty of time to get the autonomous technology adequately prepped for launch, which is a good thing since it needs to be right before it’s released. In addition, once it’s ready, there will likely be plenty of hoops to jump through when it comes to regulatory agencies and insurance companies.

Despite the above, many people are spending $7,000 with the hope that the tech will soon materialize and be fully functional. In the meantime, the extra money they’re paying does get them terrific features that they wouldn’t have if they didn’t pay for the upgrade.

So, the question here is, should you splurge for Tesla Full Self-Driving at this point in time? Model 3 owner Robert Rosenfeld doesn’t think so. This may be especially true in these dire economic times brought on by the global pandemic.

If you have the money to burn, and you want to help Tesla move forward with its technology, there’s nothing stopping you from ponying up the $7,000. However, if you can’t afford the option or can’t justify its current worth, you don’t have to add it. You’ll still get Tesla Autopilot. According to Tesla:

“All new Tesla cars come standard with driver assistance features such as emergency braking, collision warning and blind-spot monitoring.”

“Enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane.”

See below for information about Full Self-Driving from Tesla’s website:

Let us know your opinion on this topic in the comment section below. Did you pay the $7,000? Why? Why not?

Video Description via Robert Rosenfeld on YouTube:

DON’T buy Full Self Driving…YET – Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

There are many options for Tesla vehicles, but none are as highly contested as Full Self Driving. The $7k FSD package promises to get you from point A to point B without ever having to touch anything, while the Tesla would drive completely on its own. But were not there yet, and I don’t think FSD is currently worth the price.

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Auto News

Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face

Mclaren - Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face - Supercars and Hypercars

If you’re losing track of all the new open-top hypercars, we won’t blame you. The McLaren Elva is one of many windscreen-less Swiss bank balance liberators to emerge in the last year or so – joining the likes of the Ferrari SP1 and Aston Martin V12 Speedster – but it does have something of a USP hidden up its carbon fibre sleeves.

It’s an ‘Active Air Management System’ which ensures that the alfresco supercar experience doesn’t make it feel like your skin is being torn to shreds each time you venture over 30mph. McLaren has explained how it works in this new video.

Welcome to McLaren Tech Club, a series of short films you can enjoy in your own home. Join us weekly for a behind the scenes look at the incredible technology in our cars.

Tech Club is for those who want to take their automotive knowledge further, delve deeper and get to the core of what every McLaren car is about – using technology to help deliver the incredible driving experiences for which the pioneering supercar company is renowned worldwide.

This week, we kick things off with the just launched McLaren Elva. An incredible car, with its world first ‘Active Air Management System’ which uses aerodynamics to deliver a comfy drive at 70mph, without a windscreen.’

Who better to take you through this new tech than McLaren Automotive’s Design Engineering Director, Dan Parry Williams.

Want to know more about #McLarenTechClub – post your questions below and each week the videos’ presenter will respond and react to them. Dive into the conversation on social using #McLarenTechClub and we will respond.

We’d recommend having a watch through – it’ll be easier to visualise thanks to all the snazzy CGI plus McLaren Automotive design engineering boss Dan Parry Williams pointing out the inlets and outlets. But to sum up, the Elva is hiding a “hook-shaped” duct in its nose, which takes high-pressure air from the front, turns it 120 degrees, and spits it out of a vent in the top of the clamshell.

This creates a barrier of air just in front of the cabin. Oncoming airflow hits it and curves up and over the occupants, making life much more pleasant. Parry Williams says that at 70mph, driver and passenger will be left “in relative calm” with their hair (providing they have some) “unruffled”.

Mclaren - Here's How You Can Drive A McLaren Elva Fast Without Destroying Your Face - Supercars and Hypercars

How far over that point you need to go before proceedings take a much breezier turn, we’re not sure – with an 803bhp twin-turbo V8 borrowed from the Senna, the Elva is capable of reaching much higher speeds awfully quickly. But regardless, it’s an impressive system.

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Car Reviews

You Can Race Against Real WTCR Drivers in RaceRoom's New Esports Event

By now, we should all be used to seeing pro drivers trying their hand at esports events. Over the past couple of weeks, and in response to the near total cancellation of real-world motorsport, pros have raced against personalities in the sim-racing world in a series of exhibition races.

However, if you fancy taking part yourself there hasn’t been much chance. At least until now, as RaceRoom and the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) have teamed up to create a four-round championship between the pros and gamers themselves.

The series will take place between now and mid-May, as a prelude to the official FIA WTCR Esports Online Championship later in the year. Each round consists of a time attack qualifying session, in which real players will attempt to qualify for the races. There’s four rounds in total, so there’ll be four chances to qualify. The full schedule is below:

  • Race 1 – Hungaroring – Qualifying March 25-31, Race April 6
  • Race 2 – Slovakia Ring – Qualifying March 31-April 14, Race April 20
  • Race 3 – Ningbo International Speedpark – Qualifying April 14-28, Race May 4
  • Race 4 – Sepang International Circuit – Qualifying April 28-May 12, Race May 18

If you set a top 20 time at the end of the time attack phase, you’ll qualify for the top server. This will feature up to 10 spots for the real WTCR drivers, and there’ll be two 25-minute races each round – with a reverse grid second race. Your opponents could include Kevin Ceccon (Alfa Romeo), Tiago Monteiro (Honda), and current WTCR champion Norbert Michelisz (Hyundai) — who actually began his racing career playing Grand Prix Legends online.

There’s further spots available outside the top server, but these races will just be for fun. Meanwhile the main event will reward racers with points just as with WTCR, and the overall series champion will receive a TAG Heuer watch.

All the races will appear live on WTCR’s official YouTube channel and Facebook page, with commentary from James Kirk and Robert Wiesenmuller. The first qualification session is open right now at the Hungaroring, so get driving.

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Car Reviews

High-mileage cars: should you buy one?

Concerned about the high mileage on a potential used buy? We present two cars with a combined total of 1.2 million miles

Searching for your next car can be as exciting as it is daunting, and it's a good idea to have a predetermined list of needs, wants and must-avoids before hitting the classifieds.

Whether it's something cosmetic like the colour, or something more fundamental like the type of transmission, we all have our own search criteria when trawling through the small ads. Fortunately, the digital age makes it easier to pinpoint your ideal car, even before you've left the house.

• Best used cars for £1,000 or less

Some buyers will place a mileage limit on a prospective new car purchase, with 100,000 miles seen as a barrier for many purchasers. To some extent, this is a hangover from motoring of days gone by, when a six-figure odometer indicated that the car was long past its sell-by date unless the vehicle in question was a taxi or truck.

While a high mileage on a relatively new car can indicate a hard life, dismissing a vehicle based on its odometer could mean you're missing out on a bargain. At the time of writing, of the 470,000 cars for sale on a well-known classifieds website, some 8 per cent had covered 100,000 miles or more.

Take a three-year-old car. You'd expect it to have covered between 30,000 and 45,000 miles by its third birthday. On the face of it, then, a 36-month-old vehicle with 10,000 miles on the clock might be a tempting prospect.

But if that vehicle has been used for lots of short trips, the oil might not have been given time to warm up, while lots of town driving could mean more wear and tear on the clutch, gearbox, suspension and brakes.

Meanwhile, a motorway-muncher with more miles on the clock might have spent most of its time in sixth gear, on smooth roads, with only a few stone chips to show for its ordeal.

Most engine and gearbox wear takes place when the engine is cold, while the brakes, suspension and clutch will wear out much more slowly on cars used for lengthy motorway trips rather than urban stop-start driving on roads littered with speed bumps.

Most modern cars have a design life of at least 150,000 miles, so you can be happy they’ll last at least this long if maintained with a service schedule. This can easily be doubled, though, if the car has been well looked after.

Just take the 2001 VW Golf 1.9 TDi we tracked down, which is a true member of the High-Mile Club. With more than half a million miles on the clock, it never missed a beat during the week-long road test we gave it.

We took it up and down the motorway from London to Essex for a weekend round of golf, navigated the congested stop-start central London streets and even used it as family transport over the Easter weekend.

Aside from some worn fabric on the seats, a sticky door handle and a vaguely rattly engine – something you could accuse any older diesel of, irrespective of mileage – there’s little to suggest this Golf has done anything more than the standard mileage of a 15-year-old motor.

• Most reliable used cars

The truth is, though, that this Golf S has been the picture of health throughout its life. It’s still on its original engine and the cylinder head has never been parted from the engine block. Aside from regular oil changes, a new cambelt every 60,000 miles, maintenance on the brakes and several clutches, the Golf has been an owner’s dream, and still manages to average more than 50mpg.

The drivers responsible for racking up this incredible mileage are Roy Dyson and wife Doreen, who regularly used it to travel from their Devon home up to Lancashire. The couple had family and friends there, having left the area after selling Roy’s wholesale food delivery business.

The Dysons purchased the car in May 2002 from Northfield Volkswagen, Cirencester, with just 6,021 miles on the clock, and soon racked up some serious mileage on many days and weekends away. By the end of 2002, the Golf was on 30,000, and just over two years after purchase, it crossed the 100,000 barrier. But Roy and Doreen didn’t stop there, and by August 2006, they’d passed 200,000.

It wasn’t until the car clocked up 300,000 that it recorded its only breakdown, when a failed alternator was replaced by the AA at the roadside. In fact, the only time it failed to make it home under its own steam was in the winter of 2010, when a snowstorm trapped them in the car and they had to use their trusty Golf as lodgings for the night. Dodgy weather was also responsible for the Golf’s only accident, when it slid on ice and damaged a door panel.

• Best used cars for £5,000 or less

It’s a remarkable story, but just goes to show why you shouldn’t discount something just because of its mileage. The romance of keeping a car for so long aside, buying a high-miler can also represent great value, as you all but nullify one of the biggest motoring expenses: depreciation.

Of course, as with any used car, there are pitfalls to avoid when buying. We caught up with Luv Datta, of Shire Car Sales near Bromsgrove, Worcs, for some expert advice on how to avoid picking up a money pit.

He said: “Go through the service history with a fine-tooth comb and see who has done the work, what they’ve done and when. Look at the car’s MoT history – you can do so for free at gov.uk/check-mot-history. If the car has failed regularly and racked up lots of advisories, you know it hasn’t been cared for. And don’t be afraid to invest in a professional inspection.”

Some of the best used vehicles are ex-company cars, because they’ll have covered high motorway mileage and will likely have been serviced properly.

And don’t be put off by a car that’s had lots of money spent on it, because big bills show it’s been cared for. It’s also worth considering that these high-mileage cars are much cheaper than a low-mileage equivalent, so you can afford to spend some of the cash saved on repairs.

Take a 60,000-mile 2012 Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Zetec for example. According to Glass’s Guide, it’s worth almost £7,000 in a private sale, but with a mileage of 160,000 its value plummets to just £4,000. You can pay for a lot of parts and labour with that spare £3,000.

Datta added: “When a car reaches 100,000 miles it can become really hard to find a buyer. However, most buyers turn their noses up once there are 70,000 miles on the clock, although high-mileage cars can represent a real bargain.”

Case study: why I bought one

Rod Green’s 709,292-mile Volvo S80 2.5D

Would you buy a car with 693,000 miles on the clock? That’s what Rod Green did – or more accurately, it’s what his son did for him. However, while a mega-mileage saloon might seem like a risky gamble, Rod knew the car’s history from day one, because he’d put most of those miles on its clock.

Rod said: “I started a new career as a corporate chauffeur in 2001, and I leased a pre-registered S80 2.5D with fewer than 20 miles on the clock. With an annual mileage of 80,000 to contend with, I needed something that would be reliable and not cost too much to run. However, 10,000-mile service intervals meant the Volvo would visit a garage every six weeks. I never skimped on servicing but I avoided main dealers – by using independents I got a much more personal service and I paid a lot less.”

With 350,000 miles on the clock, a piece of grit damaged a drive belt, wrecking the engine. Rod’s specialist sourced a factory-reconditioned engine and fitted it within a week. He added: “A main dealer couldn’t have matched this level of service, or cost.

“So when buying a high-mileage car, don’t be too focused on a main dealer service history. What matters is that it’s been maintained properly using high-quality parts. If that’s by a recognised specialist, that’s fine.”

At the end of its four-year lease period, Rod bought the Volvo for £1,000, eventually selling it in 2009, by which point it had covered almost 600,000 miles.

When Rod recently retired, his son presented him with his original S80, which he’d bought back as a gift. Rod added: “By now, the car had done almost 700,000 miles and it was still running superbly on the clutch I’d had fitted with the replacement engine. But it was looking a bit scruffy and its cosmetics would have put off many buyers – never mind the mileage! The S80 proved a great buy as cheap, comfortable transport, though.”

The Volvo has now done 709,000 miles and has needed a new alternator, while the suspension has been overhauled. Rod concluded: “I’d like to see one million miles on the odometer, but as my annual mileage is now just 5,000, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

Have you ever bought a used car with high mileage? Let us know in the comments. Click the image below for our top 10 best SUVs…


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You Weren't Expecting The Mansory Audi RS6 To Be Subtle, Were You?

You Weren't Expecting The Mansory Audi RS6 To Be Subtle, Were You? - Tuning

The C8 Audi RS6 tuning game is heating up. Already we’ve seen a fettled version of the super estate from Abt, and now Mansory has had a go.

As you might expect, the results are rather in yer face. The Mansoried RS6 receives a new front splitter, fresh side skirts and a new rear bumper with a redesigned diffuser. A new vented bonnet has been added, along with orange stripes.

The orange theme continues inside (although Mansory hasn’t provided any images of the part leather, part Alcantara cabin yet), and there are splashes of orange on the 22-inch forged wheels too. The most unusual touch? That’d be the new pentagonal exhaust trims.

You Weren't Expecting The Mansory Audi RS6 To Be Subtle, Were You? - Tuning

The standard C8 RS6’s 4.0-litre V8 develops 592bhp, making for a 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds. That’s plenty fast enough, we’d argue. But if you’re picking up the phone to Mansory in the first place, you most likely don’t think like regular folk.

With that in mind, the German firm has extracted some extra go from the Porsche co-developed V8, yielding a new output of 720bhp. Torque? That’s now at 737lb ft, or if you prefer, 1000Nm. Crivens.

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You Can Buy A BMW M4 For The Price Of A Well-Specced Fiesta ST

BMW - You Can Buy A BMW M4 For The Price Of A Well-Specced Fiesta ST - Used Cars

BMW seems to have decided that its cars, for some reason, need to have absurd, vulgar grilles. It started with the BMW X7, which is so large that you can’t miss it, however hard you try. Then BMW turned the 7 Series from classy into looking like one of those pigs from Angry Birds. And now, the 4-series and M4 are set to follow suit, and we brought you these camouflaged spy shots a couple of days ago.

The new M4 is set to go on sale in 2021, with a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six kicking out up to 503bhp in top-spec Competition guise, and a little less in the one that we’re most interested in, the Pure – which is rumoured to have a manual gearbox of all things. Thinking about the next-gen car led us to have a browse of the classifieds, where we came across several M4 coupes for a similar price to the Ford Fiesta ST pocket rocket with a few options added. Now, decisions decisions…

BMW - You Can Buy A BMW M4 For The Price Of A Well-Specced Fiesta ST - Used Cars

Sure, you won’t have the 503bhp promised in the upcoming Competition model, and you’ll have to pay a little more if you want the pleasure of changing gear yourself. But 425bhp is more than sufficient – it’s more than double what you’d get in a Fiesta ST – and means the M4 hits 0-62mph in just a smidge over four seconds. Top speed is a limited 155mph, as per BMW’s gentleman’s agreement with its main rivals. Obviously the M4 can’t match the fuel economy of the Fiesta, but that’s hardly the point of a car that outguns some supercars. You should be able to achieve the heady heights of 30mpg on the rare times you’re gentle with the throttle, while £300 tax and high insurance are going to be side-effects owners will have to put up with.

But you could easily argue that you’re getting double the car for the money. The M4 is equal parts track-day blitzer and relaxed motorway cruiser, with twice the cylinders and displacement of the ST. You’ll also enjoy an interior stuffed with leather and high-tech gadgetry, while being based on the regular 4-series means the boot is a decent size too.

BMW - You Can Buy A BMW M4 For The Price Of A Well-Specced Fiesta ST - Used Cars

The advert we’ve picked out isn’t even the cheapest on the market, but we didn’t fancy an 89k-miler (even if it was in Austin Yellow). Instead, we’ve picked a 2015 car with a slightly more palatable 74,000 miles on the clock, with full service history from BMW dealers and specialists. At £23,995, it’s exactly the same price as a three-door Fiesta ST-3 with no options and the standard Race Red paint. This M4 comes in Yas Marina blue, which was one of the standard colours but at least it’s metallic.

The black grilles, black wheels and carbon-fibre spoiler caught our eye on this car, as the latter was an expensive optional extra. The spoiler isn’t even standard on a brand new M4 Competition. Just as eye-catching are the other M4 hallmarks – the carbon roof, pointed wing mirrors, aggressive body kit and bulging bonnet.

BMW - You Can Buy A BMW M4 For The Price Of A Well-Specced Fiesta ST - Used Cars

It seems that the first owner of this car added plenty more from the brochure, too, as it features a head-up display, high-beam assist, a ‘driving assistant’, cream leather and a Harman Kardon sound system. As you’d expect from a car that originally cost more than £60,000, the M4 also comes with sat nav, electrically adjustable heated front seats, DAB radio and parking sensors front and rear.

Which would you choose – a used M4 or a new ST? Tell us in the comments!

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