Geneva 2015: What to expect?

The time of year has come around for all petrol heads. Much like Christmas for a child, the 85th edition of the Geneva Motor show is ten days of motoring goodness. Here are a number of the hotly anticipated cars expected to make an appearance at the show on 5th -15th March.

Abarth:

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Abarth 659 Biposto and a number of updates to the 500 range and new kits and accessories.

Alfa Romeo:

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The Alfa 4C gets the wind in your hair treatment with a Spider version. With its new look, both models get a new voice box in the shape of an Akrapovic exhaust system.

Aston Martin:

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Vulcan is Aston Martin’s new track weapon. Fitted with a hearty 7.0Litre V12 pushing over 800bhp to the rear wheels and limited to 24 examples.  Expect these beasts to be sold out before even catching a glimpse of them in the metal.

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Another racer for Aston, the Vantage GT3 Special Edition, is a road and track car limited to 100 examples, heavily inspired by the marque’s success in Motorsport. The GT3 has clearly been on a diet, losing 100kg over the V12 Vantage S thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre in and around the car.

Audi:

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The supercar which promised to take on the Italians at their own game is back with an update. The R8 gets updated looks, loses some weight (50kg) over its predecessor capable of hitting 62mph in 3.2sec and topping out at 205mph. The V10 engine comes in two guises, standard packing 533bhp and the V10 Plus with 602bhp.

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Making its official appearance to the public is the RS3 Sportback, to be hitting the roads by Summer 2015. Deemed the most powerful five cylinder engine ever produced by Audi RS with 362bhp and 465Nm to play with, it is a good thing it is fitted with Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system.

BMW:

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BMW have updated a few of its models including the 1-Series and the 6-series but what everyone wants to see is the M4 MotoGP safety car.

Bugatti:

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Veyron La Finale is the very last one to roll off the factory line. Already sold to a lucky chap in the Middle East  this vast array of numbers wasn’t something people were used to when it was first introduced back in 2004. But now, let’s see the successor.

Ferrari:

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Turbocharging has made a comeback to the ‘Cavellino.’ The 488GTB can be said to be the successor to the F40, the last turbocharged mid-engined Ferrari and a replacement to the fantastic 458 Italia. 661bhp and 760Nm are created by the 3.9Litre Turbo V8 able to hit 125mph in 8.3 seconds.

Ford:

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The much-anticipated Focus RS is the 30th incarnation to wear the RS badge. Fitted with all-wheel drive and torque vectoring will help the driver push the 316bhp to its limits. Ken Block, driver of the legendary Gymkhana series was a consultant during the development of the RS.

All-New Ford GT

50 years after Ford’s GT40 took all three spots on the podium at the 1966 24Hours of Le Mans, Ford have revealed the new GT powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5Litre EcoBoost V6 said to give the car the one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any production car.

Honda:

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Honda are back in F1 with an engine partnership with McLaren F1 and an icon has been reinvented. The NSX is making its rounds 25 years after the original was first premiered. A twin-turbocharged V6 which is a nod back to the original is fitted with a nine-speed DCT box.

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The Civic Type R is getting its debut fitted with a 2.0Litre VTEC Turbo engine allowing drivers to hit a top speed over 160mph. To help drivers deal with the level of speed, the Type R has been fitted with 350mm drilled Brembo brakes up front.

Koenigsegg:

The Swedish company has managed to keep it all very hush-hush in terms of leaks of new cars. A teased sketch of the rear of potentially the Agera RS and supposedly Koenigsegg is bringing another hypercar to Geneva hopefully to take on the three hybrid hypercars from the likes of Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari.

Lamborghini:

Again very little has been given away by Lamborghini, spy shots of what looked like an Aventador SV have  been seen across the internet but all details are being kept close to heart before the official reveal however their teaser video promises to reveal the most ‘reactive’ Lamborghini yet.

Land Rover:

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The stunning Land Rover Evoque gets some cosmetic surgery up front (not that it was ugly in the first place) and gains Jaguar-Land Rover’s new Ingenium engines promising up to 68mpg and under 110g/km of CO2.

Lotus:

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£70,000 worth of Lotus will be officially unveiled at Geneva, 16% more powerful, 22kg lighter and 400bhp gives you the new Lotus Evora 400.

McLaren:

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The Longtail is back. The Mclaren 675LT focusses on less weight and more power.It will shoot to 62mph in 2.9secs. McLaren will make five ‘Hero’ specification Longtails  which consist of never offered colours Silica White, Delta Red, Napier Green and Chicane Grey. The McLaren Orange completes the set.

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Some individuals don’t in the saying that enough is enough. A few of those people clearly work at McLaren as they have taken the insanely quick P1 and upped the power to make the P1GTR. 986bhp, 50kg lighter, wider and lower than the standard P1 and some serious spoilers creating 10% more downforce are all the ingredients to make this GTR.

Mercedes:

Three noteworthy models are being launched by Mercedes. We have reworks of two classics and a GT3 racer.

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Maybach is back as a sub-brand and the first model is the remake of the classic S600 Pullman, 50 years on. At a length of 6.5 metres expect to have a driver to wait with the car as prices start around €500,000 for the unarmored version. I doubt it will be a slouch if it needs to get out of any hairy situations as it is fitted with a V12 biturbo with 830Nm available from as low as 1900RPM.

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If off-roading is more your thing, the G-wagen is the one for you. Elements of the 6×6 have been fitted to the G to create the G500 4×4 squared.  New powerful engines, wider track and higher ground clearance (450mm) promises to tackle nearly any environment you throw at it.

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The GT3 race series is about to get a little more interesting, Mercedes are to launch the AMG GT3 race car. Even though the road car is fitted with a 4.4 biturbo V8, the GT3 will use a fettled example of the naturally aspirated 6.2 V8 from the SLS AMG GT.

Porsche:

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A manual hardcore Cayman is coming. The Cayman GT4 is built with components from the 911 GT3, perfect for racing and with an engine derived from the 911 Carrera S, it is good for 380bhp helping position it as a benchmark.

The second model is a secret but quoted ‘is another exceptional Porsche that sets new standards on the racetrack.’ Could it be the 911 GT3 RS?

Vauxhall:

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A hot hatch that is set to attack Ford’s Fiesta ST sales. The Vauxhall Corsa VXR   is fitted with a 1.6Litre turbo charged petrol engine pumping out 202bhp and up to 280Nm of torque to the front wheels. The VXR averages 245Nm from revs as low as 1,900rpm, which is a significant change from the outgoing car.

The best of 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood is the closest you are going to get to motoring heaven. Music has Glastonbury, Football has the World Cup and cars have Goodwood.

The Journey

The journey to Goodwood was all about car spotting, for the first hour or so not much turned up but once we got within a few miles of Goodwood, some utter beauties were seen flying past. We were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Chris Evan’s Laferrari, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and the FAB1 Rolls Royce.

The Laferrari as most of you already know, is the newest car to come out of Maranello sometimes referred to as the F70. Only 499 examples of this model have been built and we were lucky to catch a glimpse of three throughout the festival. The Aston Martin DB4 Zagato Sanction II is an even rarer breed with only four built and it was just parked up in a hotel car park with no security.

LaFerrari, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and Rolls Royce
LaFerrari, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato and Rolls Royce

 

The Manufacturer’s stands

This is a petrol head’s dream. Manufacturers let you get up close and personal with their new cars and even show off some concepts. Nearly every manufacturer tried to outdo the other with lavish stands showcasing their best metal. On some occasions the simple stands were the ones that did it best like TWISTED and Ariel. There aren’t as many people around the cars which give you a better opportunity to examine the car and get some great shots. Out of all the stands I visited, I personally loved the McLaren stand. It could be that I have a soft spot for the British marque but they made the stand open more like a marquee with some historical machines as well as the P1 and new 650S GT3 race car.

McLaren P1

 

The Hill

Goodwood Hill isn’t a ver long course, a mere 1.16 mile track. Shouldn’t be too hard for professional racing drivers, right?  The track rises by over 300ft from the start to finish and drivers have to deal with tree-lined corners and changes in light and grip. A few drivers got caught out at Molecomb which saw a few exotics crashing through straw bales. This year Sebastien Loeb, in his Pikes Peak winning car tried his best to beat the record  of 41.6 seconds set by Nick Heidfeld but only managed a 44.6 second run on Saturday. John Surtees and Kimi Raikkonen put on a show for the spectators on the last day cruising up the hill in their F1 cars.

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The F1 Paddock

This where all the cars which have been lusted over on television for years sat all together. A mix of old and new. Formula 1, Le Mans to Pikes Peak. They were all there. At 11am on Sunday, the people were lucky to be in the paddock were treated to some great sounds when most of the cars were all started and revved hard for a minute. Unfortunately the Mazda 767B wasn’t started after blowing its engine at Le Mans.

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The Super-car Paddock

This paddock was filled with a number of great super cars, namely the LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, Mclaren P1 and Koenigsegg Agera One:1 along with many others. There were also some crazy cars in the paddock too including the Aston Martin concept DC100 as well as the Ferrari F12 TRS. Jay-kay’s kermit green LaFerrari was also parked up.

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Cartier Style-et-luxe concourse d’Eleganze 

The Style-et-Luxe pavilion was where pretty cars in seven different classes were to be judged by a number of honourable guests. The beautiful Maserati A6GCS which the Alfieri concept took design cues from, won ‘best in show’ and you can see why. it is absolutely marvellous.

Maserati A6GCS

Maserati Centenary 

Celebrating Maserati’s Centenary, Goodwood house set up a little area in the courtyard solely for the Maserati brand. Some of the top-selling cars were on show including the good-looking Maserati Alfieri concept. let’s hope that they put that stunning machine into production and we can wait for it start winning Concourse d’eleganze shows in years to come like its older siblings.

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I didn’t manage to find time to head up to the Rally stage or go on any of the experiences that the manufacturers were offering, but that just gives me more of a reason to head there again next year. Take a look at the additional gallery below

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PREVIEW: Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014

June 26th to June 29th are the dates to save in your calendar. Forget everything else for those few days as nothing even comes close. It is the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This year’s theme is based around ‘Addicted to Winning – The unbeatable Champions of Motor Sport’. 2014 also marks the centenary of the brand with the trident badge aka Maserati with some of their most successful racing cars being showcased along with some new concepts. alfieri Mercedes-Benz are the featured manufacturer this year with Lord March will celebrate the Silver Arrows on his now famous sculpture outside Lord March’s house. The manufacturer will be celebrating 120 years of achievement in Motorsports along with their 100 year anniversary since gaining a 1-2-3 finish in the 1914 French Grand Prix.

What to expect?

Sebastien Loeb is looking to be the quickest up the hill in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes peak car trying to beat Nick Heidfeld’s 1999 record time of 41.6 seconds in the McLaren MP4-13 race car.

Michelin Super car Paddock

Four hyper-cars that have been the talk of the motoring world since they were announced are going to be together.  The McLaren P1, Koenigsegg Agera one:1, Porsche 918 Spyder and the Ferrari LaFerrari will all be at the festival. The beauty of it is, they will all be running up the hill, definitely not to be missed.

The amount of cars on display will be unbelievable, forget any car show you have ever been to, this will top it. Elemental RP1, a new British brand to compete with the likes of BAC, Ariel and Caterham will be revealed at the festival for the first time. elemental Cartier Style et Lux 

Celebrating its 20th appearance at the Festival, The Cartier Concourse D’Elegance will be showcasing beautiful engineering spread over seven different classes.

Class 1-  junior pre-war sportscars from long-lost brands

Class 2- dedicated to the Mercedes 500K

Class 3- Maserati

Class 4- ‘Mad Men’ aspirational 1950s American two-seaters

Class 5- Mid-engined masterpieces such as the Ford GT40 and McLarenM12GT

Class 6- ‘Pony Cars’ inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang

Class 7- front-engined supercars of the 1990s

Judges include the likes of Rowan Atkinson famous for playing Mr Bean and being a true petrol head and Sir Jonathan Ive Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple.

The Hill

The main attraction at the Festival of Speed is the 1.16 mile hill climb running through the southern part of the Goodwood estate Three manufacturers from this year’s Le Mans will be attacking the hill, one of Audi’s winning R18 e-tron, Mark Webber in his Porsche 919 Hybrid and the Toyota TS040 which led for 13 hours this year. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 car FoS 2013

Skoda Rally Stage

The Rally stage is another one not to be missed, with rally legends of Group B. Rauno Aaltonen and Paddy Hopkirk get back into their Mini Cooper S’, 50 years after winning the Monte Carlo Rally stages. Rauno Aaltonen Mini Cooper S FoS 2013   GAS arena

The GAS arena also known as the Goodwood Action Sports arena will host some awesome Dirt jumping BMX with freestyle Motocross with riders hailing from America, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and the UK.

Racing Heroes 

Damn Hill, 1996 World Champion is among the many F1 title winners who will be present throughout the weekend with some taking old winning cars up the hill. Felipe Massa will be taking Damon Hill’s Williams winning FW18 car, Kimi Raikonnen, Lewis Hamilton, John Surtees and Emerson Fitipaldi are just a few of the names to look out for.

This is only a little snippet of what can be seen at the Festival of Speed so get there early and remember to pack enough batteries for your cameras. Tickets are still available from the website here with prices starting at £27.

Hint

Give yourself enough time to walk around the car park, as you will find many exotics just sitting around.

 

 

The motoring quartet

It has been a while since I last posted something here on my blog. A lot has changed, a new pope has been chosen, political leaders have passed and after the Geneva motor show three super car manufacturers flexed their muscles and showed us what they are made of.With them, there is a fourth who showed off the tech in 2010. Two from Italy, one from England and the last from Germany.

Ferrari had us waiting the longest to show the car, just throwing teasers every now and again and only showing the car when they wanted it revealed. Are the Ferrari staff that good at keeping secrets? Jaguar land rover take note.

Ferrari LaFerrari
Nonetheless, Ferrari laferrari is here. I don’t particularly care for the name or the front end of this car, but looking through its specs makes it quite a contender for the top prize. In their official press release, Ferrari stated that this is the ultimate Ferrari, and is the epitome of the brand and so will the be called ‘The Ferrari’.

I have always felt that styling falls behind air flow in the design of an anniversary Ferrari; and this one is the same. The front end still looks like a test mule, but the side and rear views are stunning. To be fair most drivers will only catch a glimpse of the rear of the motor and not much else.
It has a 6.3l naturally aspirated V12 allowing the engine to redline at a healthy 9,250RPM helped along with a 163hp electric motor gives this monster a whopping 963bhp and 715 ft pounds of torque. It was expected that the car can hit 0-60 in under 3seconds but the surprise is 0-125 time which is sub  7seconds. This is the first production Ferrari to be fitted with F1 style HY-KERS system allowing the batteries to be charged through regenerative braking. Even though this car has a battery pack, this is no ordinary hybrid where the engine cuts in and out. Ferrari felt that the engine was the whole part of the experience so the electric motor is there to boost the engine.

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The other Italian is Lamborghini.

Lamborghini Veneno

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Lamborghini did what they do best. Come out with a radical car. Presenting the Veneno. Named after a bull which gorged a matador in 1914, this Le Mans styled road legal car which is Aventador based, looks simply insane. Only three have been made, priced at over £2.5 million and have all been sold. It has a 6.5l naturally aspirated V12 pushing out 740BHP. This is not a car which has any electric motors, just insane amounts of power put down on the road via all four wheels.

The car presented at the motor show, had accents of the Italian Flag, however the 3 made will have red, white or green accents. As a car, the underpinnings have been tried and tested through the Aventador and to save a little more weight, the men at Lamborghini used Carbon enhanced plastic panels instead of the mix of aluminium and carbon.

Lamborghini Veneno Front Lamborghini Veneno Side

Mclaren P1

A British hyper car manufacturer celebrating its 50th anniversary, who has only been known for its F1 success and the car it was named after. More recently, the MP4-12C was launched and now we have a new car. The P1. Displayed in Mclaren Burnt Orange, we already knew what it was going to look like as test mules had been sighted all over England. This car is a looker from every angle as you may have already seen.

Different from the Italians, this car has a twin turbo 3.8L V8 with a similar hybrid set up to the Ferrari’s. Combined the engine and electric motor will churn out just over 900BHP and 633 foot pounds of torque. Taking engineering cues from Formula 1, the P1 has DRS  style flap to increase downforce under braking. Even though this is one of my favourites of the four, I do not think people will appreciate that the underpinnings to this £866,000 limited to 375 examples, hyper car is its baby brother, the MP4-12C.

Mclaren P1 front Mclaren P1 rear

By far the most anticipated (or forgotten) super car is the Porsche 918 spyder.

Porsche 918

This car is an engineers dream. A car with over 800BHP, 575 foot pounds of torque but returns over 70 miles to the gallon. Sub 100g/km CO2. Dizzying numbers. The testing that has gone into this car is immense. It was teased in 2010, and will be released some time soon. that’s just under three years of road testing. This is no ordinary Porsche, it is a naturally aspirated 4.8l V8 coupled with two electric motors. One of which powers the front wheels whilst the other powers the rear wheels and helps the engine. Here we have an all wheel drive car with four-wheel steering. There is so much tech on this car, it is engineering genius. At low speeds the rear wheels turn in an opposite direction to the front wheels allowing tighter cornering. At higher speeds, this steering turns with the front wheels giving the car more stability when reaching its maximum of 202mph.

Back to those electric motors, this is only one out of the four that starts in ‘electric mode’ allowing you to drive silently for 15 miles up to 100mph, where you can flip the switch and allow the engine to help in ‘hybrid mode’ focusing on economy and battery range. ‘Sport hybrid’ mode  is more aggressive and keeping the engine running constantly, which I think most people will keep it on. Then there is ‘Race Hybrid’ which uses the batteries to give extra grunt to the engine and also ‘Hot Lap’ which uses all power reserves to give the driver that little bit extra when racing against the clock. Price of this piece of wizardry – £650,000.

Porsche 918 spyder front Porsche 918 spyder rear

 

All four of these cars cost over half a million pounds, and all run in limited numbers. Who will be crowned champion? Only time will tell. I rule the Veneno out of the race as its more of a museum piece seeing only three will ever be made. The Porsche is looking to be the future of motoring, but will be a rare sight. So I believe it will fall to the mighty Ferrari and Mclaren to battle it out.

Motoring Pornography

A car which is sexy has one element that makes it different to any other car. what is that little ingredient you ask?

Italian Flair.

A car made in Italy has something completely different to all the other cars on the planet. this is what makes them so loved and hated at the same time. Yes, the Germans are precise, and the Asians know how to get as much power out of a tiny engine but the Italians have something about style and may I dare say ‘soul’.

this brings me to a car I came across when scouring the internet. The Ferrari Xezri concept. Now this concept didn’t come first in the Ferrari World Design contest of 2011, but it is stunning nonetheless.

according to the designer,  Samir Sadikhov from Azerbaijan,  “it was an idea of designing a model that a synthesis of its technological knowledge and its sporting experience.”

Based on a Ferrari 458 Italia, Samir chose to go with a monocoque seat known as ‘ Mono-seat’ which was inspired by jet fighters and race cars along with the need to save weight.

This car won’t be a car to take your friends to scare the living daylights out of them like the Mclaren F1 which has a monocoque seat and then two rear seats.

Even the instrument panel was structured around that of a fighter jet.

The car has movable body parts for aerodynamic purposes and to help direct cold air to the radiators.

 

as this is only a concept, no-one will know when it will be released or if it will remain as a rendered image.

if you would like to read the full story on the ‘Xerzi’ you can take a look of Samir’s website.

 

Which would you go for?

Now I made a deal with my friends that as soon as I reached 500 views on my blog I would do something special.

this post will be something a little longer than usual. These are the cars I think are designed for you guys.its a shame that most of them will never make it to production but to dream……

For Drinu this is for you:

Ferrari 340 Competizione 

This car was built to pay homage to the 1950’s Ferrari 340 Mexico. Normally a Ferrari not actually built by Ferrari would not even get a second glance but im sure this piece of muscle will have you drooling for hours. They take a Ferrari 456 GT keeping its 5.4L V12 and the old school clunky manual gearbox while gaining new aerodynamics, suspension, brakes, an interior that recalls the 340 Mexico.

Sorry to say but the price looks like it is a one-off.

 

For BB this is for you:

BMW M1 Hommage 

The M1 is a stealthy looking car, which was originally built-in contention with Lamborghini which was the only mid engined BMW to be built for the masses. And the Hommage edition takes all the magic of the original and gives it a more imposing sinister face. I am not sure what engine the Hommage uses but it would be nice if they took the original 3.5L straight six and tuned it a little bit to give it some more power to go with its added beauty.

For Nigel Z:

You seem to love the massive beasts from what you have owned so i think you will like this very much.

The Marauder 

This beast looks good on a war field. It’s an armored vehicle which can cruise at 120km/hr with an engine that has only 300bhp, but that’s not the number you should be looking at….. it has 1100 NM of torque meaning it can pull the sun closer to earth. Ok maybe not that strong, but can any of the other cars handle mines and can allow the additions of light and middle weight weapons along with missile launchers.

For my Cousin Dan:

The Eagle Speedster

The E-type in my eyes has always been one of the most if not the most beautiful looking cars in the world. Now they have updated it slightly to bring it to the 21st century.

It is fitted with Eagle’s 4.7L engine with their 5 speed manual gearbox. it looks sleeker, body has been pushed slightly closer to the ground giving it a more muscular feel and look. little details that make the car special, the hand brake and iPod connector have been hidden away to keep the flowing lines.

And lastly for Bon:

The Tata Nano 

A cheap car for a guy who goes through a car every year or so. Bon save your money and buy a couple of these. It’s rear engined 2 cylinder engine with 35bhp which has less power than my washing machine.

No need to worry about wasting a lot of petrol, no air con, no electric windows, only one wiper and no power steering.

and it all costs £1700