x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

World's most expensive car, the Bugatti 300 Veyron 16.4s, is sold out

Plus a luxury Mini makes its debut in Abu Dhabi, Volkswagen develops autopilot technology and more Motoring news.

The interior of the Mini Inspired by Goodwood, which was showcased in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy of Mini
The interior of the Mini Inspired by Goodwood, which was showcased in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy of Mini

Bugatti sells final Veyron

Bugatti has sold its final Veyron 16.4 to a European.

The French car maker, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, only made 300 of the exclusive supercars that were the most expensive modern cars in the world, selling for a cool €1.2 million (Dh6.3m).

The Super Sport version of the Veyron is the fastest road-legal car in the world, with a top speed of 431kph, while the original version has a top speed of 408kph.

"In the Veyron the Bugatti team has created a vehicle that has already become an icon of automotive history," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, president of Bugatti Automobiles SAS.

"Both technologically and in terms of design, the Veyron is still far ahead of its time. The Grand Sport is a further pinnacle of achievement in the open-top sports car segment, and we intend to maintain the same standard in our future Bugatti products."

Bugatti's Grand Sport and Super Sport are still being produced.

The Grand Sport has a transparent roof and hits a top speed of 407kph, which makes it the fastest convertible in the world.


High-end Mini is shown in Abu Dhabi before general release

The most luxurious Mini ever has been in the UAE capital ahead of it becoming available to order at Abu Dhabi Motors.

The special edition of the three-door Mini, called Inspired By Goodwood, was unveiled at the recent Shanghai Motor Show and stopped off in Abu Dhabi last week to give customers a sneak peak before heading back to Europe.

Mini enthusiasts had the one-off opportunity to join private viewings of the model at Abu Dhabi Motor's showroom in Khalidiya and were given the chance to place an order for one of only 1,000 units going into production worldwide.

The car was developed in close collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars design team and exterior and interior features were specially commissioned.

"Since its launch more than 25 years ago, Abu Dhabi Motors has been committed to bringing the best and most exclusive products and vehicles to the capital," said Arno Husselmann, the company's general manager.

"We received an overwhelming feedback from those invited."

The new Mini will hit the streets of the UAE in spring next year.


VW develops autopilot tech

Volkswagen engineers have developed an autopilot for cars.

The head of the car maker's Group Research department, Dr Jurgen Leohold, said they had created Temporary Auto Pilot (Tap), which can drive semi-automatically up to a speed of 130kph.

"[Tap is] an important milestone on the path towards fully automatic and accident-free driving," Leohold said.

The system uses cameras and ultrasonic-based sensors that utilise a laser scanner and an electronic horizon. And Tap combines cruise control and the lane-keeping systems into one function.

It keeps the car at a safe distance behind other drivers and is said to work in stop-and-start conditions, such as city traffic.

"One conceivable scenario for its initial use might be in monotonous driving situations, for example, in traffic jams or over sections of a driving route that are exceedingly speed-limited," Leohold added.

The German manufacturer has not given details on when the system, which is still being tested, will be introduced.

Car makers such as BMW are said to be testing similar autopilot technology though none are thought to be at such an advanced stage as Volkswagen.


Japanese car makers boosted with reliability study results

Japanese car makers have achieved good results in a new report on vehicle reliability.

After years of criticism, the Japanese manufacturers rebounded in the Initial Quality Study, released last week.

Toyota Motor Corporation's Lexus brand came out top for the first time in two years, up from fourth last year. And Honda came second, up from its sixth in 2010.

Toyota itself also greatly improved its position to seventh, compared with 21st last year.

The results are a timely boost for Japanese car makers after the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March.

It's also fantastic for Toyota, which has had to recall more than 10 million cars worldwide in the space of just a year.

Honda's Acura finished third in the poll, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Mazda, which had risen from 18th the previous year.

The annual survey questioned 73,000 people who bought 2011-year vehicles in the US.


Luxury car brand Aston Martin announces Dh1.8 billion boost

Aston Martin has announced an anonymous investment in the company to the tune of £304 million (Dh1.8 billion).

Dr Ulrich Bez, the chief executive of the British car maker, said: "Our successful bond issue represents a milestone and provides strong, long-term financial foundations for the company as we enter a new phase of growth.

"We have already demonstrated the strength of our brand and business model, as evidenced by last year's 36 per cent rise in sales. The success of the bond issue highlights investor recognition of our capabilities and confidence in our strategy.

"We now have long-term financing in place alongside our current product range and development pipeline, which are the strongest in our history.

"Our growth will be driven both by the continuing recovery in our traditional markets and the opening up of new markets. We look forward to capitalising on many opportunities ahead."