Words: Keith Adams Photography: Newspress/HeadlineAuto
The Brits were less in evidence at Detroit as they have been in recent years – an understandable situation given our amazing 2011. Last year was most definitely the year of the concept, with Jaguar Land Rover basking in the limelight of the C-X16 and DC100 concepts, and 2012 will be all about developing these for production (as the V6- and V8-powered Jaguar XT, and an as-yet unnamed new Land Rover). Geneva will see more action for the Brits – as we ramp up for the summer unveils of cars, such as the Jaguar XF Sportsbrake, MG3 and 5 – but we still managed a couple of new product reveals, all the same.
Of course, it’s probably a matter of raised expectations after such an amazing 2011 – and there were still two notable debuts.
AROnline readers have already voted with their mice and keyboards on the MINI Coupe styling, by proclaiming it a little too challenging for their tastes. But at AROnline Towers, we love its individuality and bravery. However, shorn of its roof, and turned into the two-seat Roadster, there’s no denying the latest MINI derivative has considerable appeal.
Detroit was the UK-built Roadster’s public debut, and although we already know it’s going to be available in Cooper, Cooper S and JCW form (122, 184 and 211bhp respectively), and will be followed up by the first press drives in the upcoming weeks. Expect a UK on sale date sometime around the late spring.
Bentley Continental V8
The Bentley Continental GT V8 also had its first public airing at Detroit. It’s a useful engine downsizing (although currently, the V8 will sit below the W12 in the range, rather than replace it), although with 500bhp and 481lb ft from its 4.0-litre engine, it’s far from second-best. Early test drive indications are that the V8 loses nothing to its fuller-sized brother. Bentley claimed a 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds, and a maximum speed of 188mph.
For the first drive, check out Octane magazine.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.