Disguised vehicle reveals the new Defender will have the iconic boxy shape.
Disguised vehicle reveals the new Defender will have the iconic boxy shape.

New shots of a camouflage-clad new Defender have surfaced. Land Rover officials have confirmed it will arrive in 2020 and just like the classic 1948 model, it’s a dominant box shape once more.

The Defender was previously spotted as a test mule that was actually a shortened Range Rover Sport body on new Defender running gear. These pictures of a camouflaged test vehicle snapped in the British Midlands last week reveal the shape and dimensions of the production Defender for the first time.

The spy pics also show evidence of independent rear suspension — and that is a principal diversion from the solid axle of the old car.

The new Defender has had a long gestation as Land Rover has tried to launch a modern successor with a styling link to the iconic original, which ended production in January 2016.

The new vehicle seems to bear little resemblance to the negatively received DC100 concept launched at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Along with this longer wheelbase Defender 110 model, Land Rover is said to be also developing a shorter Defender 90. Technical details are scant, but Land Rover has previously stated that the new Defender would be even more offroad capable than its legendary predecessor, and it’s likely to be aluminium-bodied.

Ferrari SUV takes shape

Car spotters recently spied a test mule for Ferrari’s upcoming SUV. Snapped at the Maranello headquarters was a GTC4 Lusso with extra large wheel gaps and raised suspension.

With Ferrari’s perennial rivals Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley, including its stablemates Maserati and Alfa Romeo, having already entered the SUV fray, it’s a natural path for Ferrari to take.

Ferrari’s new CEO Louis Camilleri recently confirmed that the Italian sports car maker would join the SUV ranks with a vehicle called the Purosangue, which is Italian for "thoroughbred".

There isn’t much technical detail but late former FCA boss Sergio Marchionne said the vehicle would arrive in late 2019 or early 2020.

However, it’s likely to be underpinned by a new front-mid engined architecture that is compatible with plug-in hybrid technology. According to the reports, the engine in this test mule sounds turbocharged, suggesting it is a version of the 3.9l twin-turbocharged V8 already fitted to the GTC4 Lusso T.

In the meanwhile, the latest spy video at least confirms that Ferrari is indeed busy with fitments and research of a Ferrari in hiking boots.

When your Rolls-Royce just isn’t special enough, it calls for a Faberge bonnet ornament.
When your Rolls-Royce just isn’t special enough, it calls for a Faberge bonnet ornament.

When money's no object

Imperial Russia’s longstanding and highly sought-after Farberge eggs, the most famous being the 50 "Imperial" eggs made for Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers, are among the most coveted collectables on earth.

Responding to demands of a patron, Rolls Royce has announced the "Spirit of Ecstasy" Fabergé Egg.

For the first time in history, an iteration of the Spirit of Ecstasy, the company’s bonnet mascot since 1911, is cocooned in a contemporary Fabergé Egg.

The egg rests on an engine-turned, hand-engraved, purple enamel guilloché base of 18 carat white gold. Arms of rose gold define the shape of the egg, acting as a protective chamber for the egg’s mascot, which is made of frosted rock crystal. The rose gold vanes, embellished with nearly 10 carats of diamonds, resolve into swathes of amethyst weighing more than 390 carats.

Fabergé CEO Sean Gilbertson said: "A unique moment in both our companies’ history, the creation of the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ Egg represents the meeting of two masters of unrivalled quality and design, showcasing two globally recognised symbols — the Fabergé Egg and the Spirit of Ecstasy."

Lambo to challenge Valkyrie?

When the Aston Martin Valkyrie goes on sale next year it will be gunned along by the most powerful normally-aspirated engine yet seen in a production car.

Its Cosworth 6.5l V12 will produce 843kW of punch, which makes it a contender to beat a Nurburgring production-car lap record recently set by the Lamborghini Aventdaor SVJ. But Lamborghini won’t necessarily give up its record without a fight. Autocar reports that the Italian firm may be considering a limited-edition Lambo to challenge the Valkyrie.

Lamborghini has made previous low-volume cars such as the Centenario, of which only 40 were built to celebrate Ferrucio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday, while only five units of the Veneno were made.

Autocar reports a Valkyrie-challenging Lambo might follow a similar path as the Centenario and Veneno, which means it would be based on an existing Lamborghini V12 platform. It would need to take a serious horsepower jump, which could mean a turbocharger or possibly a hybrid system.

Right now it’s just rumours, but lately we’ve seen a renewed attack on Nurburgring lap records by sports car firms.

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