It seems Ferrari is bringing the GTO name back again that first appeared on the famous 250 GTO.   Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
It seems Ferrari is bringing the GTO name back again that first appeared on the famous 250 GTO. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

You just know Ferrari is getting fed up with Porsche taking all the junior super car glory when its own fan page promises this year’s new 488 special will be faster than a LaFerrari.

The track-focused coupe is promising everything from an engine that’s 10% lighter to carbon-fibre wheels to a bodyshell that’s 20% more efficient through the air.

There are even strong hints that Ferrari will revive the GTO badge for the super car, even though a recent presentation indicated it was a "New V8 Sports Special Series".

The GTO badge has never been used on a Ferrari production car, with the exception of the ultra-low volume 599 GTO. It has traditionally been a racing car name, with the only other Ferrari GTO racers being the highly sought-after 250 GTO and the 288 GTO.

It’s effectively a like-for-like replacement for the 458 Speciale, one of the great sports cars, though with more power, torque and speed at every point in its envelope.

Leaked information shows Ferrari claiming the GTO will have the most powerful V8 engine it has put into production, with the 3.9l, twin-turbo motor taken almost entirely from the 488 Challenge race car.

It’s likely to punch out 522kW of power and a lot more torque than standard.

It will retain the road car’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, complete with a revised slide control management setup and a tighter differential setting.

The leaked documents show there will be big jump in the amount of carbon fibre used on the car, with the lightweight material now found on the bonnet, the rear spoiler, the bumpers, the dashboard and big swathes of the interior. The carbon-fibre wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber, are said to save 40% in weight over the forged alloys on the standard car.

The material move isn’t just for weight, though, with the low volume nature of the GTO allowing Ferrari to sculpt the body even better for airflow, with the slides suggesting a 20% improvement in aero efficiency over a standard car that already delivers 325kg of downforce at 250km/h.

It will be loud inside, if its go-faster predecessors are any guide. Ferrari will likely remove any heavy sound deadening from the cars, including such niceties as carpets, while even the glass will be shaved down to save weight.

Coupe storming back

The last Range Rover coupe was the Stormer concept but the brand will show a production coupe at Geneva in March.  Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The last Range Rover coupe was the Stormer concept but the brand will show a production coupe at Geneva in March. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

When the Range Rover first appeared on the scene, it was as a three-door model. Land Rover looked at recreating it in 2004 when it revealed the Stormer concept but that never made it into production.

Land Rover is celebrating its 70th anniversary and the company is promising to put a three-door coupe into production in the form of the SV coupe. So far it has only revealed an interior picture.

So far Land Rover has only revealed this interior pic of the Range Rover SV coupe.   Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
So far Land Rover has only revealed this interior pic of the Range Rover SV coupe. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

Just 999 will be manufactured for the worldwide market and each one will be hand-assembled by the team at Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.

John Edwards, Land Rover special operations MD, said: "Land Rover created the luxury SUV sector with Range Rover almost 50 years ago. In launching the new Range Rover SV coupé, we will offer clients an alluring combination of peerless luxury and rarity."

New Rav4

The new Rav4 looks  to take  design cues from the FT-AC concept.   Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The new Rav4 looks to take design cues from the FT-AC concept. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

Last week we brought you details of the next-generation Corolla. Due in 2020, it moves on to the company’s TNGA platform that was first used on the new Prius.

Our sources have confirmed that even before the Corolla arrives, we will see the platform used for the next generation Rav4, which we expect to be revealed before the end of 2018 and go on sale in SA in 2019.

Expect the new Rav to be more square and rugged in appearance. Our sources say it will take styling cues from the FT-AC concept that was shown in 2017.

Still with Toyota, the company is preparing to try to take on the Volkswagen Polo with a new Yaris that will launch in SA in next week. Toyota is not revealing much but expect a hatch and sedan as it tries to claw back some market share in the segment.

Not a swift arrival

The new Suzuki Swift is  on sale in Europe but we will get a different version made by Maruti-Suzuki in India.    Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
The new Suzuki Swift is on sale in Europe but we will get a different version made by Maruti-Suzuki in India. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

Suzuki is on a roll in SA, increasing its sales in 2017 by a huge 56% and expanding its model line-up with products like the Ignis.

However, it has continued to sell the outdated Swift in SA even though the new Swift was launched in Europe in the second quarter of 2017.

Finally the reason for the delay became apparent when Suzuki SA took local motoring journalists to India and told them they cannot write about the new model until March.

It seemed bizarre given that the car is already on sale in parts of the world, but SA will not be getting the same car. We will get the Maruti-Suzuki version although that too has just gone on sale in India.

So if you are waiting for the new Swift, it looks as though your wait might be nearly over.

Swedish electrification

Volvo is getting ready to fulfil its promises of electrification in its range from 2020. Its Polestar division has already revealed the Polestar1 hybrid GT car, but now it is being reported that the first proper battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from Volvo’s performance division will be a small SUV.

Volvo itself is also working hard on its new electrified products, the first of which looks set to be the next generation V60 station wagon that will go on sale in 2020.

It’s interesting that it is going with the V60 first but we assume the S60 sedan is also under development.

The new V60 will sit on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as the XC60, XC90 and S90.

British electric

Mini is continuing to develop the Mini E electric vehicle but expect it to look more like a regular Cooper than this concept version.   Picture: NEWSPRESS UK
Mini is continuing to develop the Mini E electric vehicle but expect it to look more like a regular Cooper than this concept version. Picture: NEWSPRESS UK

When we drove the prototype Mini-E electric model years ago, we decided an electric Mini made sense given they are mostly used in urban areas.

Then BMW unveiled the Mini E concept and now our sources have confirmed that the production version is undergoing testing ahead of its introduction in 2020.

Based on the three-door Mini Cooper design, it will sit on BMW’s UKL platform and have a range of about 300km.

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