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Inside Lane

Issue 42

Our New Model... Welcome to issue 42 of Inside Lane’s magazine. Something has changed hasn’t it? This is our allnew look for 2013 that brings you even more vivid content than before. Aside from new design features the biggest change it is our shift from traditional portrait to landscape. Why? Well magazines are usually in portrait so that when you open them you don’t punch the person next to you in the face, this being an online magazine you will have no such issues. The change allows for more detailed images and better spacing for content. This issue cuts its teeth on the best bits from the New York and Shanghai motor shows.

Maserati Ghibli “5 Series You’ve Had Your Time...”

The new Maserati Quattroporte that was unveiled earlier this year

clear family resemblance to the Quattroporte, the Ghibli sports an

replaced its very much loved predecessor. The car has become a little

aggressive front end that then morphs into more elegant architecture at

bigger and is more of a luxury limo than the previous car. This has

the rear. Inside bare carbon fibre dons the cabin highlighting this

allowed for a new model to slip in just underneath the Quattroporte and

saloons sporting nature. Power comes from a 410BHP turbocharged

now the much anticipated 5 Series rival from the Italian company has

3.0 litre V6 petrol, or for the first time in Maserati history, a turbocharged

been revealed at long last.

3.0 litre V6 diesel. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via an 8 speed

This is the Maserati Ghibli and it is to offer the same comfort as its

automatic transmission.

bigger brother but in a neater, more sports orientated, package. With a

2014 Kia Soul Is Talking About Our Generation If ever one car demonstrates the complete and utter transformation of its maker, it is the Kia Soul. Less than 10 years ago, the Korean manufacture was building cars that you wouldn’t want to be seen dead in until at least the age of 80, by which time passers-by would excuse your laughable choice of vehicle, putting it down to failing eyesight and severe loss of marbles. Now in 2013, the primitive days of the Pride and the Magentis are fading memories, and Kia’s current line-up is well and truly in touch with the generation of today. Nothing epitomises this more than the Soul, launched in 2009, a car which for the first time brought Kia to the doorstep of a certain kind of audience. I’m talking about the type of person who wears a cheesecloth shirt, skinny jeans, a scarf and espadrilles, someone who enjoys watching interpretive dance and insists on eating sustainably farmed trout. In short, the Soul is funky, current and most of all desirable. That would have been unthinkable for a Kia of 10 years ago. Fresh for the 2013 New York Auto Show, Kia have unveiled the all-new 2014 Soul which aims to be “more fun, funky and functional than ever”. In keeping with this, the next generation Soul has its roots in the 2012 Kia Track’ster concept, a 247BHP hot-hatch. For example, the lower air intake, flanked by circular fog lights, along with the reworked front grille mirror those on the Track’ster. The chassis is now stiffer, longer and wider and the interior is roomier than before. Additionally, the 2014 Soul will come with three new trim levels; Base, Plus and Exclaim. The top spec Exclaim model features 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and front and rear LEDs as standard.

However, a more persuasive argument for opting for the Plus or Exclaim editions comes in the form of the gutsy 2.0 litre GDi power plant, an improvement on the 1.6 litre Base Soul. A 6-speed gearbox comes as standard with both engines, but manual transmission is not currently available on the Exclaim. When Kia say that they have turned the concept Track’ster in to reality with the 2014 Soul, they are being a tad economical with the truth. The 164 BHP generated by the 2.0 litre engine doesn’t exactly tally up with the 247 BHP vaunted on the original concept, but don’t be surprised to see a sportier version of the next generation Soul in the pipeline sometime soon. At the time of writing, no specific details on European spec or trim levels are available, so do be prepared to expect some alterations to the features listed above for the new Soul’s UK release in early 2014. So, if you’re someone who considers themselves as funky and in touch with the modern generation, you could do worse than taking a look at the new 2014 Kia Soul. If, on the other hand, you’re a sustainably farmed trout, you can come out of hiding now!

The Ford Mustang is an American icon. The muscle car of the blue collar worker has been imortalised over the past 50 years it has been around. Made most famous by the late Carroll Shelby, names such as GT500 are legendary. Don’t go thinking that just because the great man has passed away that the wheels at Shelby have stopped turning, not at all. They have just produced the fastest Mustang there has ever been. The Shelby GT S/C 1000 could be declared the ultimate American muscle car packing an incredible 1183BHP! All of those ponies come direct from a 5.8 litre supercharged V8 that lives under the bonnet. Capable of over 200MPH, the car is loaded with what is called a “big brake package.” The GT S/C also receives fully adjustable suspension. Want one? Well write a check to the tune of $154,995 and then add on the cost of a GT500 donor car. Expensive? Sure, but can you put a price on the American dream?

The 1000 Pony Club

It appears the children are fighting for the worlds attention again. The German triplets of Audi, Mercedes and BMW are once again engaged in a battle of “anything you can do I can do better.� Mercedes-Benz and their handsome CLA have procured themselves a nice little niche in the small luxury saloon market, that was until today were Audi has just debuted the S3 Saloon. This car is a direct competitor for the CLA and is based upon the A3 Saloon that is also making its debut in New York. boasting more interior space than the hatchback, this S3 is powered by a 2.0 litre TFSI engine that when coupled with Audi’s 6 speed dual clutch gearbox will do 0-62MPH in 4.9 seconds. A manual gearbox will also be made available. Power is sent to all four wheels and the car itself will hit showrooms early next year.

“Hatching   a    Planâ€?

Today the Dodge SRT Viper is a very different car to what it used to be. It is now a genuinely well designed sports car and not just a lot of power and artillery pieces for exhausts. It truly is a match from some of its European rivals but its biggest rivalry sits state side. The Corvette ZR1 held the record for fastest street legal car around the very technical Laguna Seca race track, but now the coiled snake strikes back. This is the 2014 SRT Viper TA. The last two letters in its name stand for “Time Attack,” a big hint as to why this car exists at all. It served its purpose by knocking the ZR1 off of the top spot with a 0-60MPH time of just 3.3 seconds. This TA’s extra pace is due to weight saving mainly with not extra power on offer. The new car also features a carbon fibre brace across the engine and revised shock absorbers. In ASBO orange the Viper has bitten Chevrolet’s pride and joy, the question is, what are Chevy going to do about it?




Alas the king is dead‌ This year the UK will no longer be receiving or taking orders for the Subaru Impreza. The all wheel drive legend was born in the rough and tumble of rallying with its iconic blue paint donning truly capable machines. The Japanese company no longer feel there is enough demand for the Impreza in Great Britain to justify putting it in showroom windows. A sad day indeed. But what is this? A successor that might just return to this green and noble land! Count us in! This is the Subaru WRX Concept car and it is an astonishing piece of kit to look at. The machine completely dominates its surroundings with bold hunches and gaping bonnet scoop. The saloon has power sent to all four wheels via “a new turbo charged engineâ€? of unknown capacity. This car, making its debut in New York, is more of a way for Subaru to test the water before making a real commitment to the car. We hope they do as the missing Impreza has left a big hole within the enthusiasts market.

New York New York...

It seems the never ending Teutonic power struggle for domination in the luxury saloon arena has hit the streets of the Big Apple. With the unveiling of the all-new S3 saloon at the 2013 New York Auto show, Audi sent out a significant warning shot in the direction of their arch rivals at Mercedes and BMW. However, Mercedes have wasted no time in returning fire with their very own contender for the title of the world’s premier small luxury saloon. Enter the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG, a four-door baby saloon which certainly seems to embody everything that is required to beat the best and be the best. For a start, taking design cues from its bigger brother the ultra-stylish CLS 63 AMG, a trendsetter for high-performance luxury saloons the world over, is not a bad thing at all. In fact, the AMG package, complete with Carbon-Fibre front splitter, side panel inserts and trim on the front and rear fascia, complemented perfectly by red brake calipers and twin-spoke AMG 18� alloys, looks even more enticing on the smaller proportions of the CLA 45 AMG.

Whilst the dazzling exterior leaves potential rivals looking like plain Janes, the CLA 45 AMG’s real party piece comes in the form of Mercedes’ 355 BHP turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, the most powerful production engine of its kind. This masterpiece of engineering will deliver a sizable 332 lb-ft of torque and propel the CLA from 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds up to an electronically limited top speed of 155 MPH. All that brute force is channelled in an orderly fashion to the performance-orientated AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive system via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Also thrown in to the AMG goody-bag is the sports exhaust, an SLS AMG-derived cooling system, sports suspension with multi-link front and rear axles, speed-sensitive sports steering and high-performance braking system. Inside, the cabin can be customized with an optional AMG Performance steering wheel and AMG Performance seats. At £31,500, this is around the top end price most people would want to be paying for a small, luxury, high-performance saloon. But then again, the 2014 CLA 45 AMGis a top end small, luxury, high-performance saloon. We will have to wait until November 2013 before the CLA 45 AMG hits the showrooms and the eternal saloon-skirmish for the pride of Germany is resumed in earnest.

When you think of fuel economy one of the last names that pops into your head would be Porsche. Their performance inspired range may be efficient in its delivery of power, but you wouldn’t expect one of these German cars to offer eco-box levels of greenness. Well that was until now… Porsche’s “love it or hate it” Panamera Hybrid gets a mild refresh externally but a revolution under the skin. Outside the car receives a bigger rear window and slightly more sculpted bumpers, but under the bonnet sits a new 3.0 litre V6 engine with 316BHP coupled to a 94BHP electric motor. 91MPG is claimed to be possible in this super saloon. Expecting performance to be on the castrated side? WRONG! 0-62MPH in vanquished in 5.5 seconds and the new Hybrid has a top speed of 167MPH. It will even do up to 86MPH in an all-electric mode.


“A Niche within a Niche”

Many manufacturers are desperately trying to find an undiscovered niche in the market that will take the automotive world by storm. Previous cults such as baby SUVs and a recent wave of shooting breaks have proven popular, but the question is what will be the next big craze? BMW have revealed the X4 Concept in hope of this car being the answer. Anyone else thinking that BMW are struggling for ideas for new products? The X4 Concept is basically what the X6 is to the X5. The aim is to blend sports car looks with a crossover body and as with the X6 the results here are akin to Frankenstein’s monster. Apart from from a vomit inducing appearance, the X4 will likely fall into the same pitfall of the X6. By putting two polar opposite segments together in one car you end up with the worst of both worlds. It is too tall and heavy to handle like a sports car, but too road focused to be any good when the path ahead gets bumpy. Of course people will buy it when it comes into showrooms, but it will hardly be BMW’s finest hour.

Like A Broken Record...

Last week the Bugatti Veyron was rather unceremoniously stripped of its “worlds fastest production car” title by Guinness. The record keepers justification was based upon the record setting cars safety limiter being turned off, something only 8 of the production cars were capable of doing. Each Super Sport Veyron is capable of reaching its record breaking speed but on the grounds of safety, not limitation, Bugatti peg the car at 258MPH. Undeterred, the legendary brand launch themselves back into the record books. The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse becomes the worlds fastest open-top car setting a speed of 254MPH. Driven by Chinese racing driver, Anthony Liu, the car is mechanically identical to any other Vitesse but does sport a fresh black and orange paint job. Making its debut at the Shanghai motor show, only 8 world record edition cars will be produced at a cost of £1,690,000 each.

MG have only just reemerged onto the British car market after being sold to Chinese manufacturer SAIC years ago. Their first effort, the MG 6 has gone down well with thoselooking for high levels of equipment at a price that undercuts the competition. At the Shanghia motor show the iconic British brand showed their clear intent to expand.

Show of Strength

First up is the MG 3, a take on a space of the market that Mini has long since dominated. This little hatchback will be equipped with a 1.5 litre petrol four cylinder engine that produces 104BHP. To start from around £10,000 the 3 will have three trim levels names TS1, 2 and 3. If MG play their cards right it could be a real competitor to Skoda’s Fabia in terms of value for money.

The star of the show stand however is this, the MG CS Concept SUV. Its striking design clearly shows it to be the Nissan Juke rival that has been rumored for some time now. The compact fiveseater has already been confirmed for production and an inside source tells us test mules have been in the UK for a number of months even before the unveiling of the concept. There is currently no word on engines but the CS will be hitting the roads at some point in 2015.


Mercedes-Benz have produced their BMW X3 rivaling GLA for a some time now, but the compact SUV never made its way onto the right hand drive market due to high conversion costs. We all thought this was a shame as it received good comments from our opposite numbers on the continent. However, with the next generation GLA on the way that is to change. This is the Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept and it makes its debut at the Shanghai motor show.

The handsome little crossover is based upon the same platform as the new A-Class making for a neat compact package. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0 litre 208 horsepower engine that also produces 258lb-ft of torque, the GLA maintains the current trend of small turbo engines. Power is sent to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic all wheel drive system. Though just a concept for now, this GLA doesn’t look to be too far away from the finished article.

“Insert Tediously Long Name Here”

Are you a multi-millionaire? Did you miss our on the opportunity to snap-up one of those Batman inspired, one of three, Veneno’s? Are you feeling down in the dumps about not being able to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary with something special? Well, fear not as Lamborghini has not forgotten that it has more than three customers. For you a special Aventador awaits. Continuing Lamborghini’s tradition of extraordinarily long names, this is the Lamborghini Aventador LP720-4 50 Anniversario Edition, in short the most powerful Lamborghini Aventador yet. This cars mighty V12 produces 720BHP that sends it from standing to 62MPH in just 2.9 seconds. Top speed is 217MPH. This raging bull features unique carbon fibre bodywork which is said to be up to 50% more aerodynamically efficient than the standard car. Just 100 examples will be produced.

Ford have a long history of building cars for the masses, providing a means of transportation to every man and woman in more shapes and sizes than page three girls gets raised eyebrows. The Escort became a household name and acted much like the reliable family dog for many people. Replaced by the Ford Focus in 2002, the Escort faded into the pages of history. That was until the 2013 Shanghai motor show… The 2013 Ford Escort Concept, if it makes production, would again become a peoples hero but this time not for Europe, but the Chinese market. To take full advantage of an expanding market, this concept tests the water for a saloon that is “fun” and affordable. However, the new Escort being design specifically for this market goes against Ford’s new “One Ford” policy that sees the company produce the same car but sold to multiple regions. This Escort, as fantastically reminiscent as it would be, will not be coming to the UK.

Hometown Hero

Handsome Brute

You know when you have one of those days when you feel like you’re on top of the world? You know the ones I mean; the sun is shining, everything is coming up smelling of roses, you can do no wrong. Well that is exactly the kind of mood that Volkswagen have been in for the last 3 months following their rip-roaring success at the start of their maiden WRC season. And now it seems like that intoxicating aura of self-confidence has seeped over from the desert dustbowls of Portugal to the shiny showrooms of Shanghai where VW have proudly unveiled their newest concept, the hybrid-powered CrossBlue SUV. Given, it probably wouldn’t be Sébastien Ogier’s top choice for tackling the world’s most demanding roads, but the CrossBlue is nevertheless a fullyfledged 4WD compact SUV. This five-door coupé slots comfortably in between the smaller Tiguan and the heftier Touareg but adopts a lower and sleeker profile than its two siblings. In fact, just about everything in the design department has been flat-packed down to accommodate the CrossBlue’s more athletic persona, exemplified by the narrow 3D radiator grille which extends into the headlights. Twin angular exhaust pipes and set of suitably chunky 22-inch alloy wheels complete the powerful but sleek look.

The CrossBlue’s hybrid party trick comes in the form of a turbocharged V6 TSI petrol engine coupled to two electric motors, together pumping out 409 BHP. Combined, the hybrid system can produce up to 516 lbs/ft torque and propel the CrossBlue from 0-62 mph 5.9 seconds. The concept’s sporty credentials are underlined by its 146 mph top speed, making it the quickest VW SUV around. Like all hybrids, the CrossBlue can be switched to all-electric mode at the push of a button, giving it a range of 20 miles at speeds of up to 75 mph, meaning that the batteries even come in handy for short motorway journeys. Alternatively, you can always drive the old fashioned way in TSI mode, isolating the batteries and turning the CrossBlue into a pure front-wheel-drive petrol car.

Amongst the gadgets on show are the boot lid which opens and closes electrically and a two-way socket which not only charges the car’s battery pack but can also be hooked up to other electric devices, making the CrossBlue coupé in to a sort of mobile power station. The German manufacturer say that this concept “provides a glimpse of the future design direction of Volkswagen SUVs”, effectively filing it under ‘T’ for test bed. However, destined for production or not, VW will be hoping that the unveiling of the CrossBlue concept will prove to be the latest in a whole series of back-patting moments that have so far defined 2013.

Inside Lane Magazine: Issue 42 New York/ Shanghai Motor Show  
Inside Lane Magazine: Issue 42 New York/ Shanghai Motor Show  

Welcome to issue 42 of Inside Lane’s magazine. Something has changed hasn’t it? This is our all-new look for 2013 that brings you even more...