x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Motoring news: Audi plans a new model offensive

Audi is once again mulling over the idea of an oil-burning supercar - one that would incorporate hybrid tech and sit above the R8 in its range.

Audi planning a new model offensive

Back in 2008, Audi shocked the world by unveiling an R8 supercar powered by a diesel engine. We drove the prototype and were smitten, but the company binned the idea in favour of all-electric power. However, according to the UK's Auto Express magazine, Audi is once again mulling over the idea of an oil-burning supercar - one that would incorporate hybrid tech and sit above the R8 in its range, competing with the likes of Ferrari's new Enzo and McLaren's P1. It's at least four years away, though. Meanwhile, Autocar magazine reports that Audi is also working on what is likely to be the world's most fuel-efficient family car ever built, with the ability to achieve a miserly 1L/100km. Not expected for another three years, it's dubbed internally at Audi as the "1.0-litre car", and will be based on the platform of the A1.

Sales rumour mill continues to vex Aston

Aston Martin's much-rumoured sale is once again in the headlines, after financial website Bloomberg reported that the company's majority shareholder, Kuwait's Investment Dar, had received competing bids from two parties: London-based equity firm, Investindustrial, and Indian car manufacturer, Mahindra and Mahindra. It also reported that a decision could be made by the end of this week but the BBC reported that both Aston Martin and Investment Dar are still claiming that speculation of a sale is totally unfounded.

Bentley going back on its word with SUV?

Another British marque subject to continuous speculation is Bentley, thanks to its controversial EXP-9 F concept SUV. Most who saw it at this year's international motor shows were less than complimentary about its exterior styling, prompting reports that Bentley was going back to the drawing board - something the company denied. However US magazine, Automobile, has stated that Bentley's new head of design, Luc Donckerwolke (who has been with the VW group since 1992 and was behind Lamborgini's Gallardo and Murciélago supercars), is now working on a total redesign and that the model, not expected until 2015 at the earliest, will be named 'Falcon'.

Fiat 500 proves that small can be popular

Beleaguered Italian carmaker, Fiat, has just built its one-millionth 500. The diminutive runabout has been on sale throughout Europe since 2007 but it wasn't until the 2011 model year that American customers were able to buy them. In the short time since, over 70,000 have been sold in the US, whose 500s are built at Fiat's Mexico plant, while the milestone one-millionth model rolled off the production line in Poland. The 500 is currently sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Dubai Autodrome to host packed race day

Today is scheduled to be an exciting gathering at Dubai's Autodrome, with a varied array of motorsports being catered for. The NGK Racing Series will kick off proceedings at 9am, followed by qualifying for UAE Sportbikes and the Radical Winter Cup. The first race is set to get underway at 11am. The Autodrome will also host two track-day sessions for motorcyclists and a rather potent Ferrari 458 Italia will be pounding the circuit in preparation for January's 24 Hours of Dubai race.