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What We Learned This Week In The World Of Cars

From American beasts to British lightweights via something really rather special

There’s been plenty going on in the world of cars this week. Here we look at the things we didn’t know this time last week – and perhaps one or two things that we wished we still didn’t know.

McLaren is teasing us big time on a special car

Like some sort of cheeky automotive strip show, McLaren has revealed a sneaky bit of detail of its forthcoming Hyper-GT car, codenamed BP23.

In a hint that it will hark back to the legendary F1 of 25 years ago, it will be a three-seater and will have a hybrid powertrain, as is the fashion with hypercars these days. Needless to say that it will be the most powerful road-going McLaren ever.

Just 106 – the same volume as the F1, incidentally – will be made, but, before you start looking at which bodily organs you could sell, they’re already all pre-sold.

Development of BP23 is under way at McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the bespoke division of McLaren responsible for designing and crafting the luxurious new addition to the McLaren Ultimate Series product family.

The BP23 codename is taken from the car being MSO’s second bespoke project and it having three seats. BP23 owners will work alongside MSO to select colours, trim materials and other points of personalisation unique to them.

The first examples of BP23 are expected to be delivered in 2019.


The latest version of Ford’s monster truck is in the UK

Ford’s mega truck is back. The F-150 Raptor might not be too well-known in the UK, but it’s a sales giant in the USA.

You can have a 2017 UK version for a mere £78,000 – for that you get a twin turbo, 3.5-litre, V6 petrol with a tidy 444bhp and 510lbft of torque.

If that’s not enough, Clive Sutton of London will sort you a right-hand-drive conversion and tune it up to 590bhp for you. That’ll cost you an extra £36,000 for the conversion and then £10,800 for the power upgrade.

Lovers of this beast have had to wait a while, too, with production of the previous version ending in 2014.

Power from that big engine goes through a 10-speed auto gearbox and high-performance shock absorbers make for top notch off-road ability.


There’s a new Lotus Elise and it’s been on a diet

When the Lotus Elise came along, gulp, 21 years ago, it made a big impact. It went back to Lotus’ mantra of simple, light sports cars.

But it’s hardly remained in the limelight, even if it is still being made. That, however, could be about to change with this new one.


The Sprint edition has adds carbon fibre to subtract 41kg of weight. Founder Colin Chapman would have been mightily impressed, we’re sure, that the latest Elise weighs just 798kg dry.

It’s also had a new front and rear design and ‘significant’ interior upgrades, says Lotus. It says that this is the biggest weight cut to the car since its introduction in 1996, so this is a pretty big deal.


DS has a spring and summer collection

We all know DS by now. First relaunched as a posh sub-brand of Citroen, it now stands alone as the French manufacturer’s prestige badge.

So posh, indeed, that it now has a ‘spring/summer collection’. We kid you not, that’s how DS phrased it in its press release when it introduced the limited edition DS4 CROSSBACK Moondust.

And it will be somewhat exclusive, if this is the sort of thing that floats your boat – only 25 will be available in the UK. It features a matt paint finish and high levels of equipment.

These are actual words from DS: “Following the DS 4 CROSSBACK Terre Rouge limited edition offered in an exclusive matt Orange Tourmaline body colour launched for the 2016 Autumn-Winter collection, the 2017 Spring-Summer collection is now making its debut with a new limited edition - DS 4 CROSSBACK Moondust.”

So, there we go. If you ever doubted that cars could be a fashion item, here’s the proof.

Should you be inclined to be one of the 25, you can expect Basalt Black grained leather seats among the frills.


Citroen Berlingo has now gone all-electric

Eco-conscious and a fan of quirky French MPVs? Fear not, you can now have a Citroen Berlingo that’s powered by electric.

The car’s been going for 20 years and has always been popular as a leisure activity/family vehicle. It’s now available as an all-electric car, but don’t get too excited about taking it on holiday, as it has a range of… 106 miles.

Tough to see who this would appeal to, to be honest.

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