Frank Stephenson on McLaren, 570 GT and car design

McLaren Automotive has ambitious plans. This relatively new company in its contemporary form, established only six years ago as the road car making arm of the race firm, is envisaging a £1bn expansion plan to produce fifteen new models and derivatives over the next six years. It is also aiming to increase annual sales from 1600 to 5000 cars, with half of these driven by sustainable hybrid technology. We caught up with design director Frank Stephenson... Read More

Design and innovations from Geneva Motor Show

Earlier this month we attended the Geneva Motor Show. The annual event is a great place to observe the future of vehicle design, and even though the offerings are far less conceptual than they used to be, there remains a nice buzz leading up to the show. The degree of innovation – be it in design, material use and manufacturing methods – is at the highest level in the automotive sector. It never ceases to astonish how much they have... Read More

Sustainable cars: BMW i8

The Scottish Highlands is an unusual destination to test the new i8. BMW‘s hybrid performance car is a highly advanced piece of machinery – it’s complex mechanisms hidden beneath an almost futuristic shell. This remote part of Scotland has an untamed beauty where nature is at its purist; and as our small charter plane lands in Inverness, it feels a million miles away from the high-tech world where the i8 was born. This is one... Read More

Jaguar Project 7 at Goodwood

‘We declare that the splendour of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed,’ F. T. Marinetti wrote in the 1909 Futurist manifesto. ‘A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath … a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire…’ Speed. There is something at once modern, advanced, sexy, almost superhuman about it – notwithstanding its... Read More

Driving pleasure: Lotus Elise

There are few cars built today that offer a uniquely special driving experience. The Lotus Elise does. Here we have a car that has been stripped down to its bare bones for pure driving pleasure. The reaction is simply visceral. This small two-seater forms a special bond with its driver. It is quite delicious. The Elise is definitely not a car for everyone. It isn’t a pragmatic choice by any stretch of the imagination. It’s extremely low, almost... Read More