With an officially measured and notarized lap time of 7:49:369, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4MATIC+ is now the fastest series-production SUV on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic has become the fastest SUV to lap the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife (north loop).

Its lap time of 7:49.369 minutes around the Green Hell, with AMG development engineer Markus Hofbauer at the wheel, beat the previous record time of 7:51.7 posted by the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV.

Merc’s new SUV "King of the Ring" is shoved along by a 4.0l V8 biturbo engine with outputs of 375kW and 700Nm for a claimed 280km/h top speed, and rides on variable damping air suspension. Traction is provided by 4Matic all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution, a rear axle locking differential, and the equally important stopping power is by means of a high-performance ceramic composite braking system.

More allegations against Carlos Ghosn

Mitsubishi has fired Carlos Ghosn as its chairman, following his arrest and removal by Nissan Motor under allegations of understating his income and using company money for personal use.

Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko will become temporary chairman, the vehicle maker said.

Ghosn denied the allegations against him, but Mitsubishi said  he had lost the confidence of the company and it is difficult for him to fulfil his duties.

Axed Executive Carlos Ghosn Picture: SUPPLIED
Axed Executive Carlos Ghosn Picture: SUPPLIED

The future of the 19-year alliance, one of the biggest automotive groups in the world, has been thrown into doubt after the November 19 arrest and subsequent ousting of Ghosn as chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Top alliance executives will convene in Amsterdam this week to chart a way forward amid a power struggle said to be imminent between Nissan and Renault, owing to Renault abstaining from firing him as chairman and CEO.

Nissan holds a controlling 34% stake in Mitsubishi and has two executives on the board while Nissan remains a junior partner in the shareholding structure where Renault owns 43% of Nissan and the Japanese automaker holds a 15% nonvoting stake in the French firm.

Speaking to reporters in Okazaki, Japan this week, Mitsubishi executive vice-president Mitsuhiko Yamashita said that regardless of the shape the alliance takes, the three companies would continue to source more parts together and leverage their ties to develop new technologies.

Ghosn is in detention in Tokyo over suspicion of financial misconduct. In fresh allegations on Tuesday, Japanese media reported that he had shifted personal investment losses incurred during the 2008 financial crisis to Nissan to avoid millions of dollars in losses for himself.

Jaguar aims to stop red lights

New Jaguar Land Rover technology using Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) connects cars to traffic lights so drivers can avoid getting stuck at red robots and help free up traffic flow in cities. Picture: SUPPLIED
New Jaguar Land Rover technology using Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) connects cars to traffic lights so drivers can avoid getting stuck at red robots and help free up traffic flow in cities. Picture: SUPPLIED

Since the world’s first traffic lights were installed 150 years ago outside the Houses of Parliament in London, drivers around the globe have spent countless hours waiting for the green light that signals “go”. Jaguar Land Rover says this could soon be in the past.

The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) system is said to allow cars to “talk” to traffic lights and inform the driver the speed they should drive as they approach junctions or signals. With the adoption of V2X technology that allows vehicles to communicate with moving parts of a digitised traffic system, this would prevent drivers from racing to beat the lights by reducing harsh acceleration or braking near lights. The goal is for the V2X revolution to create free-flowing cities with fewer delays and less commuter stress.

The connected technology is being trialled on a Jaguar F-Pace, as part of a government-funded £20m collaborative research project with UK Autodrive. Connected technology will link the vehicle to everything around it, the aim being to create seamless, free-flowing traffic that will pave the way for delivering self-driving vehicles.

Oriol Quintana-Morales, Jaguar Land Rover connected technology research engineer, said: “This cutting-edge technology will radically reduce the time we waste at traffic lights. It has the potential to revolutionise driving by creating safe, free-flowing cities that take the stress out of commuting. Our research is motivated by the chance to make future journeys as comfortable and stress-free as possible for all our customers.”

Audi S1 axed from A1 line up

Tiniest Audi juggernaut with quattro rumoured to be taken to pasture Picture: SUPPLIED
Tiniest Audi juggernaut with quattro rumoured to be taken to pasture Picture: SUPPLIED

Rumour has it that Audi will retire the Audi S1, the top performance rocker of its smallest A1 range; this was purportedly said by Audi head of Audi product communications Peter Oberndorfer.

He is said to have listed high cost and difficulty encountered with the previous S1 production as hurdles to the possibility of going that route once more. He also mentioned the company’s current concentration in other areas of development, such as electrification and self-driving technology, which meant it was now even more difficult to justify a model like the S1.

“It was quite an investment. It was a great car, I had one in my house, but nowadays we have to focus more and more and it’s getting more and more difficult,” he said of the S1.

Oberndorfer added that the new A1’s range-topping powertrain, which it shares with the current Polo GTI, already offers 147kW. And since both A1 and Polo are built on the same version of Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, and despite lacking AWD Quattro underpinnings, this front-wheel-drive car could be viewed as the performer in the range. The previous S1 produced 172kW.

Lexus to chase after Lamborghini Urus

Could this be the car which Lexus will use to fend off Lamborghini Urus? Picture: SUPPLIED
Could this be the car which Lexus will use to fend off Lamborghini Urus? Picture: SUPPLIED

Lexus is reportedly planning a super-SUV to take on the Lamborghini Urus. The Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept SUV, which broke cover at the beginning of 2018, may use the 493kW 4.0l twin-turbo V8 engine destined for the hotter Lexus LC F big coupe spied testing in recent times. Also fuelling rumours of a big-hitting Lexus SUV is that earlier in the year Lexus trademarked the LQ name for an all-new range, which could perhaps be the rumoured bull-slayer which could be launched in 2020 and go on sale in 2021.