10 Nov 2013

Catch-up Corner - A Bespoke Roller, Devel Sixteen, Nissan Qashqai And More

Graham King rounds up some of the week’s motoring stories you might have missed

Another week, another Bespoke Rolls-Royce

Dubai clearly loves Rolls-Royce Bespoke, RR’s in-house tailoring division. Last week I brought you the rather wonderful Phantom Chicane Coupe, but this one, the Phantom Celestial, is a bit gratuitous. It starts with the exterior paintwork, a shade of dark blue given extra depth thanks to glass particles mixed into the paint. Then there’s interior, which has the Starlight Headliner usually found in the Phantom Coupe. And 446 diamonds inlaid by hand into the door, dashboard and central divider cappings. And yes you did read 446 diamonds. If you’ve got the money…

Land Rover sets Empty Quarter record

A couple of weeks ago I told you about Land Rover’s attempt to cross Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter desert in record time. Well, they have done just that. Rally driver Moi Torrallardona drove a completely standard supercharged Range Rover Sport the 849km route in 10 hours, 22 minutes. That’s an average speed of 51.87mph. On sand. With road tyres.

Toyota designs oddly familiar-looking taxi

With three big motor shows coming up in the next few weeks, there’s a stream of concept car previews coming along already that will soon become a deluge. I’m not going to saturate Catch-up Corner with them, but this one amused me so I thought I’d point it out. It’s the Toyota JPN Taxi Concept. It’s completely obvious what it’s for - presumably Toyota’s thinking it might be time to start phasing out the ancient Crown saloon that still sells in vasts quantities to Japan’s taxi fleets. It looks kind of familiar, doesn’t it?

Amy Williams to tackle Rally GB

Britain’s favourite Winter Olympian, the very lovely Amy Williams, will switch from being a Skeleton gold medal winner to an international rally co-driver on Wales Rally GB later this month. She will partner Sky F1 pundit and rally regular Tony Jardine in an Evo 9. Amy got a taste co-driving during a challenge on the sports-themed gameshow ‘A League of Their Own’. Jardine was sufficiently impressed to ask her to navigate for him on the UK’s round of the World Rally Championship. They’ve already completed four rallies in preparation, taking some class wins along the way - Amy says the goals is simply to finish in Wales. She retired from Skeleton a couple of years ago, but hasn’t said if she wants to take co-driving further post-Rally GB. Personally I’d love to have her sat next to me in an enclosed space for hours on end…

Do you believe the Devel Sixteen?

Amidst all the highly conspicuous displays of mind-boggling wealth at the Dubai Motor Show, the Devel Sixteen is by far the most boggling. The people behind it, whoever they are, claim it has a V16 engine producing 5000bhp! I’ll say that again: 5000bhp! Quite where that engine comes from, you can only guess. Performance? 0-60mph in 1.8 secs, top speed 348mph. Apparently three stooges, I mean customers have already signed up at $1 million each. I’ll leave you to make up your own mind, but personally, I think this might be the world’s first bullshit-fuelled car.

BMW i3 finally arrives

After years of concept cars doing the rounds at the world’s motor shows, the BMW i3 has finally been officially launched. I’m sure you’ve already read about it so I’m not going to go over the facts here. Instead, I’m just wondering if I’m alone in thinking it’s one of the most amazing-looking cars of recent years? I think it’s what all family cars should look like in the near future. But then I am a design progressive. Speaking of which…

New Nissan Qashqai revealed

Let’s be honest, you don’t buy the current Nissan Qashqai for its looks. It got a little better after the 2010 facelift, but it’s always been a car that sells on practically first and foremost. And while the new one is very much more of the same - more space, more technology, more economy - it looks pretty good too. And it’s built the UK.

Article by Graham King