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Saturday, 28 February, 2015 - 20:43 (UK)  

..:: The Subaru Impreza Story

1. The Subaru Impreza Story, as told by me
2. The History of the Subaru Impreza
3. Special Editions
4. Image Galleries
5. My 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX - Red Mica


..:: The History of the Subaru Impreza

Subaru is a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries. Which was originally Nakajima Aircraft back in 1917. It's wasn't until 1954 before Fuji Heavy Industries took on the challenge of building a road car. The name of this car was the P-1 (Nothing like the modern Subaru Impreza P1) which stood for Prototype-1. This name was later changed to the Subaru 1500. And here the Subaru was born. The name Subaru Closely translates to reference the star cluster Pleiades, which is the same famous star cluster that we see make up the subaru logo today. over the decades Subaru continued to build motor cars and in 1972 made it's first 4WD car with the Subaru Leone 4WD Station Wagon. From that point onwards Subaru made something for a name for it's self in the 4WD motor car department, almost like a trade mark. Think Subaru, think All Wheel Drive. However it wasn't until 1992 that the Subaru Impreza was born. So let's pick up the story from there.

1992

The Launch of the Subaru Impreza (Japan) The Subaru Impreza was developed after rule changes in the World Rally Championship (WRC) demanded a replacement to the Subaru Legacy which was previously used by Subaru in the WRC. The changes meant that a new smaller, lighter and faster car was required in order to compete in the WRC. So even from day one, the Subaru Impreza was developed for rallying.

1993

The Subaru Impreza reached the UK. Initially the Subaru Impreza was available in both Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and All Wheel Drive (AWD) versions. However the FWD was soon dropped in preference of the trademark Subaru AWD system.

1994

The Turbo Charged Impreza 2000 AWD reached the UK (Known as the Subaru Impreza WRX in Japan). Also in 2004, Subaru Technica International (STI) was born and we started seeing STI versions of the Subaru Impreza Turbo. The Subaru Impreza WRX STI meant much more than an extra badge on the body. The STI stood for a full upgrading of the Subaru Impreza Taking was was learned on the World Rally stages and incorporating developments into the road car. Many areas were upgraded for the Subaru Impreza STI versions. Engine, Suspension and overall performance and handling greatly improved over the standard car. Top speed was limited to 155mph and 0-62 came in at just 4.7seconds for the Impreza STI. These figures made the Subaru Impreza very sought after by the local boy racers. Albeit a bit more expensive than the your every day Peugeot 205 and Vauxhall Nova.

1995

Subaru won the World Rally Championship in a 555 WRC Subaru Impreza driven by fellow Scotsman Colin McRae. A brilliant achievement for both driver and manufacturer. Driver Colin McRae for being the first ever British driver to win the WRC, and Subaru proved that the Impreza was a World Leading rally car. To mark the success of Subaru winning the WRC championship that year, a special edition Subaru Impreza was released in the form of the McRae Series Subaru Impreza.

1996

Subaru took the manufacturer title for a second year in a row, and promptly released another special edition Impreza knows as the Subaru Impreza Catalunya.

1997

Subaru won a hat-trick of manufacturer championships and celebrated once again by releasing a new special edition Impreza. The Subaru Impreza Terzo (Italian for 3rd). Only 333 Subaru Impreza Terzos were made, as a mark of the three championships won with the Subaru Impreza. 1997 also saw a few changes to the Impreza road car. Interior styling was updated including an exclusive MOMO racing steering wheel. Meanwhile STI versions were given an newly designed rear spoiler. In Japan a special 2-door coupe Subaru Impreza was released which was used as the 1998 WRC car.

1998

The Subaru Impreza 22B. A label that often conjures up thoughts of what the ultimate Subaru Impreza might be. The 22B (Note: for the computer geeks out there, 22B in hex converts to 555 in decimal.) provided a 2.2l boxer engine, more hardcore styling all round including 2-doors instead of 4 and an adjustable rear wing made up just some of the key features of the 22B. Only 400 22B's were made in order to celebrate 40 years of Subaru and only 16 of those were destined for the UK. I've seen three in total!! UK versions also had tweaked gearing which was specifically optimised to UK roads. How cool is that!

1999

To celebrate the new driver lineup of Richard Burns in the Subaru World Rally Team, Subaru decided it was once again time for a special edition. This time the RB5 named after Richard Burns. Sadly in November 2003 Richard Burns was diagnosed with a form of brain tumour and later died on the 25th November 2005 from his illness. This makes the RB5 all the more special now. Only 444 RB5's were made, with the option of the WR Sport pack.

1999 Also saw the release of another special edition. The Subaru Impreza P1, which like the Subaru Impreza 22B was a 2-door coupe model, and like the 22B it was only available in WR Blue. However unlike the 22B the Subaru Impreza P1 delivered a 276bhp out of the box, and supporting a whole load of new accessories such as 10-spoke OZ Titanium racing wheels, improved quick-shift gearbox, rear-wiper, new front wing/splitter, new fog lamps and a new exclusive rear wing. Unlike the Impreza 22B there were 1,000 P1's made. Despite this the Subaru Impreza P1 remains one of the most expensive Subaru Impreza's to buy today.

       
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2000

For eight years, the Subaru Impreza remained more or less unchanged (externally) until 2000 where Subaru decided to update the Impreza for the 21st century. This change was met with mixed views. The appropriately labeled Bug-eye version by critics, was just that. Bug-eyed! One can only guess it was Subaru's attempt to make the Impreza all cute and cuddly. But this didn't go down well with the fans. Many NewAge impreza's promptly had their headlights replaces with WRC look-alike HI-Definition (HiD) lamps or the more aggressive looking Morette cluster. What was in favour of the fans was the globalisation of the WRX name. Previously only used in Japan, the WRX badge was now stuck to any Impreza with a Turbo!

2001

To celebrate Richard Burns's win in the WRC and the launch of the of the new model, Subaru decided to launch yet another special edition Impreza. This time the Subaru Impreza UK300. Once again just like the 22B and P1 the only colour available was WR Blue. The UK300 supported new prodrive styled spoilers of which the rear wing looked like was picked from bit of an airfix kit and not put together properly. Thankfully the front end was improved slightly, with the addition of improved HiD headlamps which made the car look slightly less like a bug. Yet no matter what they did, it was still going to be remembered as the Bug-Eyed version. 2001 also saw the arrival of the NewAge (Must stop calling it bug-eyed) Subaru Impreza WRX STI to the UK. Just like previous STI's, this was based on the WRX but tweaked a little by the Subaru Technica International (STI) team. If that wasn't enough there was also the option of a Prodrive Performance Pack (PPP). The Subaru Imrpeza WRX STI saw a few key changes over the standard Subaru Impreza WRX. This time, the addition of a 6-speed gearbox as opposed to the WRX 5-speed. Also a nice welcome was similar headlamps which were found on the UK300.

2002

It didn't take long before Subaru had to give in to pressure from fans and go back to the drawing board (literally) to come up with a new style Subaru Impreza. So in 2002, Subaru announced yet another NewAge Impreza. The MY03. Main difference here was the front end. More or less everything else stayed the same, but those bug-eyed headlamps were out and replaced with slightly less ugly ones. Also a bigger bonnet scoop was included. Not to be outdone, the Subaru Impreza WRX power was increased by 10bhp. Not surprisingly many Bug-eyed Subaru Impreza's were made available on the 2nd hand market as many owners wanted to change their driveway accessory for the new style Subaru Impreza.

Although Turbo versions of the Subaru Impreza were available in Japan and Europe from more or less day one. The US favoured their muscle cars and not these Japanese breed of performance cars. Which meant the Subaru Impreza Turbo's never "officially" reached US soil until the 2002 model. Any previous Subaru Impreza's were Imports. Unfortunately for the US market the famous 2.0l boxer engine had to go. The fuel regulations in the US meant that the high performance expected from the Subaru Impreza could not be achieved from the 2.0l engine with US fuel. Instead, the Subaru Impreza was given a nice new 2.5l boxer engine for the US market, in order to keep the power and performance up.

2004

Another Subaru WRC title win with Petter Solberg at the wheel. Once again sticking with tradition a new special edition was released, known as the Subaru Impreza WR1. I must admit the WR1 is one of my personal favourites, if only because of the unique Ice Blue colour. Only 500 WR1's were made, but Subaru decided to throw everything at it, including PPP and Driver Controlled Centre Diff (DCCD). The Subaru Impreza WRX STI also saw further improvements in 2004 with upgraded mechanics from the Japanese models. This new revised STI saw a new front diff, along with the DCCD system which was found on the WR1 and UK300 models. Nice!

2005

Towards the end of 2005. Again just 2 years after the previous model was replaced, Subaru decided to release another new bodied Subaru Impreza, the MY06. This time with new crystal rear light cluster and yet another new front end. The jury is still out about whether or not it is a hit or a miss. I personally think it looks Awesome. Almost as though Subaru have forgotten the last 5 years and gone back to the aggressive styling of the original Subaru Impreza from the 90's! I admit, it did take a few days to get used to, but after you see past the SEAT grill and BMW headlamps you soon realise that this is the sort of car you want other people to see you in, in their rear view mirror. (Admittedly briefly as you scream past them shortly after words :) Sadly the MY06 marked the end for the traditional 2.0l boxer engine. Instead we saw the introduction of the 2.5l boxer engine into the Subaru Impreza. A sad end which seems to have gone relatively unnoticed. But then think of what they can do with that extra 500cubic centimetres of space. Mwaahaahaahaa!...

2006

Towards the end of 2006. Subaru / Prodrive announced the realease of a new Special Edition Impreza. Sadly without recent success in the WRC. This time the special edition was to celebrate the life of previous Subaru WRC Champion Richard Burns who sadly died 12 months previously due to a brain tumour. The New Special Edition Subaru Impreza was to be named the RB320. That's 320bhp and a limited number of 320 to be produced. Essentially the RB320 is a 2006 model Subaru Impeza WRX STi PPP with just abotu ever add on you can think of, along with bespoke prodrive/blitsen dampers, exclusive obsidian black paint work, black alloys and full dront grill set. All in all making the RB320 very exclusive and ver agressive looking with only small markings on the passenger, drivers doors and boot lid of a small orange RB320 logo. The rest of the car is very much black in respect for the late Richard Burns. A true trubite to a great champion!

       

2007

I have yet to come up with a word that describes Subaru in 2007. At the time of writing Subaru had recently announced the drascically redesigned 2008 model of the Subaru Impreza (You can see some photos here) Make your own mind up about what you think of it. My initial thoughts are yuk.. And I have to say my thoughts are still more or less the same. The car does NOT look agressive as it shoudl and just looks like any other family hatchback on the road. a fair pecentage of the Impreza's appeal has always been it's agressive shape and styling. Even teh bugeye version admitedly wasn't welcomed by many had the trademark styling that for every other angle you knew it was an Impreza and more importantly a car to be reckoned with!. This new one doesn't do much for me I'm afraid. Doesn't excite me when I see pictures of it like previous styles. The same recipie is still there usign the same 2.5l boxer engine from teh MY06 models, a new intercooler has been shoved in. Power remains teh same at 225ps for the WRX model, awd as standard of course :). However the tyres are narrower than previous versions. Also it's worth noting that at time of writing there are no plans for a WRX version or saloon version for the UK. Instead we'll have the basic models then a jump up to the STi's I see this as a mistake as the WRX hits a just about affordable market for most peopel who cant afford te £25k price of the STi. However somethign new for the MY08 Impreza will be the introduction of a 170bhp Diesel Impreza. Thats right diesel. Should be interesting...Watch this space...

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Lexus LF-SA city car concept leaked ahead of Geneva debut

The three-door Lexus LF-SA concept is understood to preview a new entry-level city car
New concept shows off new city car concept and revised spindle grille design, with the first pictures leaked prior to the Geneva motor show

Pictures of the Lexus LF-SA city car concept have leaked to the internet ahead of the car's global debut at the Geneva motor show

These reportedly official images, which were first published on a Russian news website, clearly show Lexus' planned Mini and Audi A1 rival.

Though so far Lexus has only officially revealed just a shrouded image of the car,  and confirmed the concept will be called Lexus LF-SA, these latest images confirm the three-door hatchback will come with aggressive styling cues, distinctive alloy wheels and an integrated spoiler at the rear.

The LF-SA's spindle grille design could also become a future design cue for the brand.

A relatively spartan cabin, with digital dashboard and infotainment controls incorporated into the centre console, can also be seen.

A company statement adds: "The LF-SA has been conceived as a luxurious, driver-focused vehicle, designed to address a future world that is more influenced by technology and virtual experiences.

"The new concept reflects Lexus's passion for new design trends and explored unexpected territories for the brand."

Senior Lexus officials told an Australian website last year that it planned to introduce a sub-CT200h model in Geneva. Global head of Lexus design Tokuo Fukuichi revealed the plans, saying a smaller model was something the company was "seriously considering".

The LF-SA is expected to be based on the Toyota Yaris? platform and should come to market as an entry-level Lexus option in 2018, soon after the second-generation CT range is revealed. A range of engine options, including downsized turbocharged petrols and at least one hybrid version, is expected.

Lexus will also showcase its GS F performance car and LF-C2 roadster concept at the Geneva show.

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Touring Superleggera Berlinetta Lusso concept - first pictures leaked

Touring Superleggera's Geneva concept is based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
Milan-based custom car maker's Ferrari-inspired production model gets an early debut ahead of the Geneva motor show

Italian coachbuilder Touring Superleggera's Berlinetta Lusso concept has been given an early debut prior to the Geneva motor show.

These images, which were first leaked via an Italian news website, clearly show the concept is based on Ferrari's F12 Berlinetta, though adopts minor styling changes to give the car a more retro appearance. Most noticeable is the large grille which dominates the front end of the concept. The interior of the F12 also appears mostly unchanged, and keeps its digital dashboard.

An official video released by Touring Superleggera had hinted at a deep Ferrari connection, with the Carlo Anderloni-penned Ferrari 166 MM Touring starring alongside snippets of the firm's concept. Included in the video is a quote by late Fiat owner Gianni Agnelli: "A well-done thing can be made better."

A brief shot of the Berlinetta Lusso?s passenger side in the video shows the body being handcrafted from lightweight aluminium.

It's unknown whether Touring Superleggera will have made any modifications to the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta's powertrain, which features a 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V12 powerplant producing 731bhp and 509lb ft of torque - enough to give the F12 a 0-60mph sprint time of just 3.0 seconds.

Touring Superleggera has revealed low-volume production cars in the past at Geneva. Two years ago, the firm pulled the wraps off its Alfa Romeo 8C-based Disco Volante, and three years prior to that it revealed its Bentley Flying Star shooting brake.

Further details will be released on the Berlinetta Lusso at the Geneva show.

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2015 Aston Martin Lagonda to go on sale in the UK

Powering the Lagonda is the same 5.9-litre V12 engine as used in the Rapide S
Aston Martin's new Lagonda saloon gets V12 power, a top speed of 175mph and is coming to the UK

The Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf saloon will now be offered for sale ?in the UK in right-hand-drive form.

The company has confirmed that it has reversed an initial decision to offer the Lagonda Taraf for sale only in the Middle East following strong interest and demand from other markets.

In addition to the Middle East and the UK, sales will now take place in EU-legislation-compliant continental Europe and other select global markets, including Singapore and South Africa.

Based on Aston Martin?s VH architecture, the V12-powered Lagonda Taraf will be built in a limited run of 200 units and is the work of Aston?s special projects division, which is behind the recent Vulcan and Vantage GT3.

The carbonfibre-bodied model will be hand-built at Aston?s Gaydon headquarters, and extensive personalisation will be offered by the ??Q by Aston Martin? bespoke service.

The return of the Lagonda name on a production car is significant for Aston, because it is expected to be returned full-time to the range on an as yet unconfirmed SUV model.

Powered by a 550bhp 5.9-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine - the same unit as the Rapide S - the Lagonda is capable of reaching a top speed of 175mph. The production-ready model was revealed in a series of official pictures late last year, and had previously been spotted testing both on UK roads and in Oman.

As part of its extensive testing programme, Aston Martin took a near production-ready Lagonda model to Oman, where it completed some 14,000 miles of testing over four weeks. The main focus of the testing was to see how the Lagonda's components, especially elements like its air conditioning system and interior trims, tolerated the heat, which could range from 30 to 50 degrees Celsius. At the time, Aston said the car was already performing "beyond expectations".

It is understood that the Lagonda is currently being offered to customers on an invitation-only basis, with Aston only saying the car's price would be "commensurate with the car's exclusivity, quality and luxurious nature".

Styling cues for the model are borrowed from the V8-engined Lagonda saloon, which was launched in 1976 and was designed by William Towns. Underpinning the new model is Aston Martin's VH architecture, which is used throughout its current line-up. Power from the V12 engine is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman said: "The new model, like its exclusive siblings the One-77 and V12 Zagato, has been created as a piece of exceptional automotive art.

"It has been designed and developed entirely in keeping with the spirit and ethos of previous Lagonda super saloons ? notably the William Towns Lagonda ? and as a tribute to this car it proudly bears the Lagonda nameplate."

At its 1976 launch the Lagonda was notable for, among other things, its use of advanced technology ? including LED display panels. The Aston Martin Lagonda, like its forebear, also makes use of modern innovations. For example, it utilises carbonfibre for its exterior panelling.

Each Lagonda will be hand built at Aston Martin's plant in Gaydon, in a building that was previously dedicated to construction of the One-77 supercar. The new Aston Martin Lagonda follows in the footsteps of other bespoke projects including the £500,000 Aston Martin CC100 Speedster, production versions of which were built by the 'Q by Aston Martin' division.

Launched in 2013, the Q division is responsible for offering customers the ability to customise existing models to their own specifications, or to commission entirely bespoke cars. An Aston Martin spokesperson had previously said that the Lagonda was part of a series of coach-built models produced by the Q division.

The company says that the launch of the new saloon revives the Lagonda ethos of "the finest of fast cars".

Aston Martin Lagonda design secrets revealed

Getting to see Aston Martin?s pre-production Lagonda super-luxury saloon is not the most straightforward of tasks.

At the entrance to the company?s Warkwickshire headquarters, I jump into an Aston Rapide with design chief Marek Reichman, in order to get to the well hidden unit where a verification prototype of the new car is waiting.

The security detail at the super-clean facility ? originally constructed to build the One-77 hypercar ? appears none too happy with our attempts to gain access to the Lagonda, but eventually, after swipe-carding our way through three doors, I?m led into a darkened room. The overhead lights are switched on and, as they flicker into life, the Lagonda is revealed for the first time. 

Aston Martin couldn?t have choreographed a more Bond-like reveal of the car if it tried. I can?t help but expect Desmond Llewelyn?s Q to step forward and say: ?Now pay attention, Bond.?

The first Lagonda production car in nearly four decades (nobody seems quite sure when the final example of the dramatically wedge-shaped Lagonda saloon, launched originally in 1976, left Aston?s production lines), this new saloon has surprised industry watchers who expected to see the Lagonda badge reborn on an upmarket SUV. 

Stuck in the window of the first door we passed through was a sheet of A4 paper bearing the words ?Project Comet?. Reichman says the Lagonda project was known as ?Comet? from the outset. ?Comets are internationally understood and have been believed to be a harbinger of the future and often a guiding light,? he explains. ?We thought that was entirely appropriate for this project.?

Work on the 5.4-metre-long machine began just 18 months ago in Aston Martin?s design studio. ?We always have ideas kicking around the studio and we always have ideas about what we could do with Lagonda,? says Reichman. 

Aston is aiming the new Lagonda directly at the Middle East market, from where, Reichman says, there has been ?specific market demand? for this type of vehicle. But why did Reichman and his design team so specifically reference one of Aston?s more controversial and uncompromising historic vehicles?

Reichman estimates that 60-70 per cent of the surviving examples of the last production Lagonda model are now in the Middle East, which is partly why the new Lagonda is such a clear tribute to William Towns? uncompromisingly edge-shaped 1976 original. ?The Middle East is a unique place and Towns? Lagonda was very different,? says Reichman.

?Lagonda has an impeccable heritage. It was a Le Mans winner in the pre-war era and was part of the avant-garde; it was always offering something different. David Brown bought the Lagonda brand [in 1947] and commissioned William Towns to stick with that. It [the 1976 Lagonda] was an attractive aesthetic; it was the lowest four-door car with a remarkably low roofline. It had daring interior technology and was a very brave car.?

It is very hard to scale the new Lagonda in this immaculate and nearly all-white room, but it is clearly an imposing machine, even if its size is well disguised by the low beltline and steeply raked windscreen.

In fact, the new car is a remarkable 5.4m long (5396.5mm, to be exact). That?s around half a metre longer than the Rapide and just a few millimetres shorter than the Rolls-Royce Ghost. The 3189mm wheelbase should open up significant space in the rear, although the doors of this development car remain frustratingly locked. Rumours are that the V12-powered Lagonda will hit a real-world 175mph.

This was a remarkably swiftly executed project, with just eight months separating the first studio sketches from the final full-size model. Lessons were clearly learnt from the One-77 project, which took two years from first sketches to production. ?From the first scale models, we just knew it would be right,? says Reichman. ?When the first model was revealed, the reaction was, ?Wow?.

?This car is not retrospective. There?s a feeling of drama with the low nose, the continuous flat face and the speed of the A-pillars. The rear of the roofline pulls up over the rear edge of the roof, emphasising the importance of the rear passengers.? 

?We call this car a ?super-sport sedan?,? Reichman continues. ?It?s very powerful at the rear, and very wide at the rear. The rear track is the widest we have ever done.? Reichman points out the substantial flat shoulder that runs down the side of the car and into what he refers to as the rear deck. He says it?s a reference to the classic Riva powerboat, and apparently it?s one of the design?s most praised reference points.

In the metal, the new Lagonda is a mighty machine, which, despite what I would call some significant juxtapositions of design language, hangs together in an unexpected manner. Although there are no razor-sharp edges of the type that Towns put into production in the 1976 car, the new Lagonda mixes the impression of edginess with what are surprisingly voluptuous surfaces, such as the way the rear wing and rear door skin enclose the super-wide rear axle and huge wheels.

The whole back end of the Lagonda ? or at least the volume under the bootlid ? really does appear to wrap itself into a kind of rounded boat tail.

It helps to reduce the visual bulk of the car behind the rear axle (where it has something of an overhang when viewed directly from the side), but it also provides an unexpected contrast to the chromed lower edges of the side glazing and the leading edge of the C-pillars. 

It?s a pity that Reichman decided not to risk a big, wide and completely flat C-pillar panel, as on the car?s predecessor; instead, the surface is broken up by a pressed-in wavy edge.

The needle nose of the original could never remotely be alluded to in today?s legislation-heavy climate, so we get incredibly slim headlights, powered by LED units which are doing so much to radically transform the possibilities of headlight design.

The Lagonda is constructed from panels moulded from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), which are, in turn, partly bonded directly to the aluminium surfaces of Aston?s VH platform.

One of the most impressive things about the Lagonda is its liquid-like surfaces. They might look like precision-pressed steel, but what Reichman?s design team has achieved with a moulded material is highly impressive.

?Endless work was done on the surface quality and surface finish,? explains Reichman. ?We work so that panel highlights on the surfaces of our models are replicated exactly. A painted surface looks like the surface as it is released by my department.?

Certainly, the almost flawless and highly polished surface language is probably the defining achievement of the nine years of the Reichman era at Aston Martin.

Achieving this with CFRP panels is easier in the sense that the material is more stable in very hot conditions (the panels on steel and alloy cars will move in hot weather), but it?s much harder in that CFRP is a surface on which it is often more difficult to achieve a perfectly flawless paint finish.

Reichman points out that Aston has its own patented coating which goes directly on to the CFRP panels before being given ?seven layers of paint and 21 hours of lacquer and polishing?. Reichman hints that this shift towards CFRP panels made in relatively short-lived tooling could become increasingly common as the manufacturer exploits its ability to build the expensive, limited-run models which are highly prized by the world?s super-rich.

Although the Lagonda production run will be very exclusive (?into three figures?), it is not yet sold out. It was, however, developed with some of Aston?s ?most important? clients in the development loop. They were allowed to see progress on the project right from the design stage and were, according to Reichman, ?over the moon? about the finished car.

The Lagonda saloon will be made in the same small skunkworks facility that built Aston?s dramatic One-77 hypercar. The first examples are scheduled for delivery early this year, and the production run will finish before the year is out. 

I get the sense that Aston will build more of these short-run specials. Buyers get something that is rare and exclusive, while Aston should benefit from significant profit margins that can be reinvested in future products. In short, everyone is happy. 

A mix of mainstream models and these short-run cars could combine to become a business model that will allow Aston to flourish with a relatively small output. 

After all, with Mercedes-AMG supplying the basic transmission and electrical architecture ? the two areas of development that are stupendously expensive ? the British company can concentrate on design and craftsmanship.

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Glickenhaus SCG 003 revealed ahead of Geneva debut

Glickenhaus SCG 003 racer is powered by a Honda motorsport-derived 3.5-litre V6 twin turbo
Track-only and road-going versions of SCG 003 to be offered with twin-turbo V6 and V12 engines

American finance magnate and bespoke supercar maker James Glickenhaus has revealed the SCG 003 racing car ahead of next week's Geneva motor show.

Standing for Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus, the SCG 003 will be the tycoon?s third project, with the racing car already confirmed to compete at this year?s Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race in May.

Sources suggest the Le Mans prototype look-alike will be offered in multiple states of tune. The racing version will be powered by a Honda motorsport-derived 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6, producing 530bhp at 6800rpm and 516lb ft of torque at 4500rpm.

The SCG 003 racer is reported to weigh 1350kg with a 49:51 weight distribution split and is shod with 18in alloy wheels. Buyers of the road-going version will be offered a choice of engines up to a twin-turbocharged V12 motor. Power and performance figures are yet to be released for the road-going versions.

Glickenhaus describes the 003 project as adopting a ?less is more? philosophy, with the car built around SCG?s own carbonfibre monocoque chassis and featuring three integrated wings. The aim is for similar dimensions to those of a Ferrari Dino Competizione.

According to SCG, pricing for the 003 kicks off at £1.6 million for the road car, with the racing version adding a £750,000 premium.

Glickenhaus?s previous creations include converting a 1967 Lola T70 Can Am racer into a road-going supercar, and the outrageous Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina, commissioned by Glickenhaus himself at a cost of £2.1 million.

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New Morgan sports car to be called Aero 8

The latest teaser image reveals the car will be called the Morgan Aero 8
Morgan will introduce a new sports car at the Geneva motor show, with the new model to be called the Aero 8

Morgan has released a new preview image of its Geneva-bound sports car and has confirmed that the new model will be called the Aero 8.

The latest image was shown on the company's Twitter feed and shows the rear wing of the new car.

A previous official design sketch revealed the car will receive Morgan's traditional long bonnet and retro-inspired curves. Twin exhaust exits can also be seen at the side. 

The image appears to confirm rumours that the two-door model will be related to Morgan's Aeromax and Aero Supersports vehicles. A previous teaser video has also revealed the new car's engine note.

Morgan's management made headlines in 2013 with the ousting of Charles Morgan. In September last year, new Morgan boss Steve Morris was quick to quell rumours that sales from the British brand had stalled, saying that Morgan's departure had "not had any impact" on vehicle sales.

Morris also said the firm was "on target" to reach its sales targets for 2014, reporting a good mix between sales of the Malvern-based company's 3 Wheeler and its other, more traditional models.

This new model will be the first product from the brand to launch since the Plus 8 Speedster was announced in April 2014. A one-off SP1 special was also revealed at the Salon Prive event in September of last year.

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