Tag: UK

By on June 13, 2019

Every once in a while, a car surfaces from the vast internet that truly deserves the title of “obscure.” It happened previously with a beautiful Gordon Keeble, and now Rare Rides is proud to present another very obscure British two-door.

It’s a Midas Gold, obviously.

(Read More…)

By on May 8, 2019

In a QOTD post last week, we walked down Nineties memory lane. The topics of discussion were the vehicle designs we still found stylish in The Current Year. In that post, conversation was restricted to domestic brand offerings.

Today, we go foreign.

(Read More…)

By on May 7, 2019

Rare Rides returns again to De Tomaso, shortly after it covered the obscure Guarà Barchetta. This time, the subject vehicle is a British-designed Mini, rebodied by Bertone, then sported up by De Tomaso. Quite a pedigree.

Presenting the 1978 Innocenti Mini De Tomaso:

(Read More…)

By on May 3, 2019

You read the title correctly. There’s a Triumph TR8 for sale in the urbane and international city of Tampa, which is in Florida. Miraculously, the sporty convertible has traveled just 90 miles since 1981.

It’s beige, malaise, and showroom fresh, so let’s have a look.

(Read More…)

By on April 11, 2019

To our collective horror, Ford decided not to sell the new Fiesta ST in North America. Instead, the automaker chose to cull its passenger car lineup during a period of declining demand and profitability in order to focus on higher-margin trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. No one in this office is particularly excited about the idea, but most of us could rationalize our hurt by trying to see things from Ford’s perspective and focusing on the bottom line. However, Ford is just rubbing salt into our wound at this point.

While the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST has abandoned its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger for a more Euro-friendly 1.5-liter triple boasting the same 197 horsepower and more torque, the United Kingdom also receives a limited-run Performance Edition that would have made a nifty little runabout/track day hooligan. Sure, it probably wouldn’t have been a hit here. But we would at least like to have the opportunity not to buy it.  (Read More…)

By on March 21, 2019

Remember Lister? It was the company that turned a Jag XJS into a 200 mph supercar thirty years ago. At the time, that Lister-Jag was capable of beating the coke-tastic Ferrari Testarossa in a drag race to 60 mph.

The company is very much still around, currently owned by UK outfit Warrantywise, and spends its time breathing upon modern Jags. Its latest? A version of the F-Type, fettled to produce a devilish 666 horsepower.

(Read More…)

By on March 12, 2019

2017 Infiniti QX30 AWD - Image: © Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars

Western Europe doesn’t like Infiniti very much, so the Japanese premium brand has decided to hit the road. The brand’s residency in the competitive region only lasted a decade, and middling consumer interest, coupled with increasingly stringent emissions regulations, is all the reason it needs to take a hike.

In doing so, Nissan’s premium division plans to cease global production of the QX30 at its Sunderland, England assembly plant. The subcompact crossover, born of a rocky Mercedes-Benz partnership, and its overseas-only Q30 hatch sibling go belly-up in July of this year. (Read More…)

By on March 5, 2019

Image: Morgan Motor Company

We’re a long way from the days when the United Kingdom not only hosted a slew of independent automakers, it owned some of them. For decades, brands fell away as most of the remaining automakers found new parents living on the wrong side of the English Channel. Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mini, Lotus, and now Morgan.

Known for its famed 3-Wheeler and persistence in retaining wood construction elements and running boards, the 110-year-old automaker just handed a majority stake to an Italian investment firm. The sound you hear might be Union Jacks being lowered in Malvern Link. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2019

Image: 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The sole production site of the Honda Civic Hatchback and Type R will close by the end of 2021, Honda told UK employees on Tuesday.

Honda’s Swindon facility, built on the site of a former WW2 aircraft factory, began building Accords for the UK and European markets in 1992, adding the popular Civic to the mix two years later. Amid a turbulent time for trade and auto sales, Honda plans to shutter the facility, throwing 3,500 employees out of work and leaving the future of the Civic Hatch and its variants in question. (Read More…)

By on February 18, 2019

Honda builds Civics in a number of locales, but Americans know of Honda’s Swindon, UK assembly plant mainly because of the Civic Type R. After years spent shunning the North American market, the automaker finally sent ships loaded with hi-po front-drivers across the Atlantic for the 2017 model year.

Swindon handles production of all Civic hatch models, leaving plants in the U.S. and Canada to handle sedan and coupe builds. It seems all those hatches, hot and less so, will need to find a new home after 2021. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2019

The Rare Rides series has featured a couple Lotus-related items before. The first was this Isuzu I-Mark RS, which was an Isuzu with some Lotus badges on it. Then came the Elite, which was a real Lotus. Today we take a look at the Elan, which mixes it up with Lotus badges and an Isuzu engine.

(Read More…)

By on January 28, 2019

Long before the Ford-based retro throwback began showing up on dealer lots, Jaguar produced a contemporary and modern sedan called the S-type. Let’s check out a brown example, this one hailing from 1966.
(Read More…)

By on November 15, 2018

2016 BMW 330e iPerformance - Image: BMW

In Europe, diesel now holds a reputation as favorable as that of the dark lord of the underworld, while electric propulsion may as well have descended from Heaven. It wasn’t this way just a few years ago.

That said, in the UK, government incentives towards green vehicle purchases have, like the U.S., been ongoing since 2011. A recent study of corporate plug-in hybrid fleet vehicles purchased with the assistance of government grants reveals many buyers were just looking to dodge diesel taxes while bilking the taxpayer for a cheaper ride. Plugging in these plug-ins was not a priority. (Read More…)

By on November 7, 2018

2018 Nissan LEAF SL

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), like the fictional “phone cops” of WKRP fame, seem to be everywhere in that country, keeping tabs on everyone’s every move. As we told you last month, in the UK, commercials are not even allowed to show frustrated office workers getting behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang, even if they’re shown driving sedately once the car leaves the garage. Dangerous influences lurk everywhere.

Britain’s ad cops are at it again, only this time there’s some meat on the bones of the complaint. Automakers often play fast and loose when it comes to describing the capabilities of autonomous vehicle functions, but electric vehicles are another area fraught with potential misleading info. Throw pricing and fuel economy into that group, too. Nissan recently ran afoul of ASA watchdogs after one of its ads suggested owners could partly recharge their vehicles in a hurry. Of course, this is technically a true statement.

What resulted was essentially a battle over the word “could.” (Read More…)

By on October 24, 2018

Image: 2018 Ford Mustang

While I certainly don’t question their dedication to preserving freedom, one wonders what the Allied soldiers crossing the Channel in 1944 would have thought about the United Kingdom of 2018.

Let’s just say that British law is somewhat strict — especially in minor, unlikely areas of life. Going by the select media reports that make their way stateside as online outrage food, it would seem that, according to British lawmakers, danger lurks everywhere in a land where people once treated nightly bombing raids as a mundane form of weather.

Thanks to this new culture of safety and tolerance, a culture where the police encourages people to report when they’ve been offended on Twitter, car commercials can be pulled from airwaves after generating the wrong kind of feelings in certain viewers. (Read More…)

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