2020 Lexus RC F and RC F track edition make their debut in Detroit

Whilst eagerly awaiting the delivery of our dark blue Lexus CT 200h, there is more joyful news on the Lexus front, with these two stunning Lexus models, targeted at those with a sporting heart.

Freshly updated for the 2020 model year, the RC F coupe now boasts improved performance, revised styling and an all-new, limited production Track Edition, which is called in our country RC F GT. It will be available in Belgium from May onwards. With the introduction of this #rcftrackedition, hard core driving enthusiasts no longer have to decide between a luxury car for the street and a serious performance car for the track.

Blending the luxury and craftsmanship of #Lexus with performance upgrades typically reserved for exotic sportscars, the #rcftrackedition is capable of turning hot laps all afternoon and being driven home that night. It’s the latest milestone for the F performance brand that will continue to evolve as an important pillar of the overall strategy at #Lexus….

We tell you a bit more here, and let you take a glimpse at the truly stunning photos.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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European premiere in Brussels for the new 911 Carrera 2S and 911 Carrera 4S

In 2019, Porsche will once again be found in Palace 1 of Brussels Expo, exclusively reserved for the prestigious Dream Cars exhibition. This year this ‘expo-in-the-expo’ will be held throughout the Brussels Motor Show. After 2018, a commercially quite successful year with no less than 3,222 Porsches were registered in Belgium, Porsche presents the eighth generation of the mythical 911 in a European premiere.

Two versions are shown to the Belgian public: the 911 Carrera 2S and the 911 Carrera 4S. The impressive Porsche booth, 600 m2 in size, will undoubtedly become the main attraction of Palace 1.

11 cars on the stand

The three 911 type 992, undeniably the stars of the 97th Brussels Salon, are in good company.

The Panamera GTS and Sport Turismo are pinnacles of GT comfort, style and speed… 

Thanks to the 718 Boxster & 718 Cayman, Macan, Cayenne and Panamera, the entire Porsche range can be admired from 19 to 27 January.

Soon we tell you more about the magnificent 911 in our columns, so stay tuned!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Lexus: hybrid premium class at the Brussels Motor Show

Lexus has always been synonymous with luxury and hybrid propulsion. But besides stunning technology and design, there is also reliability. This bodes well for our 2012 Lexus CT 200h which will soon join our stable and we will use with pleasure for years to come. But did you know that Lexus was chosen as the most reliable car brand in a survey of ‘Test Aankoop’ at no less than 9,000 Belgians and at the French consumer organization ‘Que Choisir’, which was based on a survey among 37,000 consumers?  The brand also came first again in the ‘J.D. Power 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study ‘of most reliable brands. It is also worth noting that 99.9% of all models that Lexus sells in Belgium are self-charging hybrids.

The elegant UX 250h, aiming  at the urban explorer, and a trendsetter in its class…

Lexus will present in Brussels the seventh generation Lexus ES 300 h as a European première. It has besides new styling also a completely revised and new GA-K (Global Architecture) platform, and has the 2,5 l engine mounted in its hybrid system. It is also elected by the Euro NCAP as Europe’s safest car in the Hybrid and electric cars/big sedans category. Its low CO2 emissions make it very interesting tax-wise.

The beautiful Lexus RC has some interior and dashboard refinements, introduced at the Paris Salon, and last but not least we will stand eye to eye with the UX 250h, aiming elegantly at the urban explorer. It is the first Lexus to use the GA-C or Global Architecture Compact platform.

It is all to see at the Palace 4 of the Brussels Motor Show, just take a look at the photos for now…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

We drove the Toyota Mirai: part 2

Driving is believing, the saying goes. And at first, we almost couldn’t believe it: this Mirai just drives as smoothly and zestfully as an electric car. Which, actually, it is. Only, it does not take its electricity from batteries, but from a fuel cell. That is indeed, the major difference. This means, that you can refuel it in minutes, and then drive for another 340 kilometers or so. Just like an ordinary petrol engined car. Only it emits water, and nothing else.

Driving it was a refined and thoroughly enjoyable experience, just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Toyota Mirai: the future has truly arrived…Part 1

What better automotive adventures than to spend the last days of the year behind the wheel of a Toyota Mirai? None, we would say. After having enjoyed the smooth and refined qualities of this Mirai – which is Japanese  (未来) for future-  we are truly convinced that Toyota has fully succeeded  to build a thoroughly stunning, reliable, useable fuel cell vehicle, which offers everyday practicality, comfort and a unique driving experience. In this first part, we show and explain its stunning technology.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Enjoy a virtual drive in the BMW Vision iNEXT…

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the BMW Group will showcase the future of driving pleasure and the potential of digital connectivity in a variety of different ways. From January 8-11 2019, visitors will have their first chance to take a virtual drive in the BMW Vision iNEXT, accompanied by the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. In this way, the BMW Group is underlining its innovative capabilities in the fields of design, automated driving, connectivity, electrification, and services (D+ACES), which are all defined as key areas of future activity in its corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT.

The vision vehicle will be displayed alongside a sophisticated mixed-reality installation that, for the first time, provides a virtual and immersive impression of what it is like to drive autonomously, emission-free, and fully connected in the BMW Vision iNEXT.

To begin the simulation, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant suggests an agenda for the day and plans the activities for the trip perfectly. See the photo here above.

With virtual reality goggles and a specially-designed spatial concept, visitors are able to immerse themselves in this virtual world: Initially, they drive the BMW Vision iNEXT themselves, but the vehicle soon takes over the driving function. In autonomous “Ease” mode, the driver interacts with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, which makes suggestions and controls various digital services for the driver – from videoconferencing, to shopping, to smart home functions.

You don’t have to steer this wheel all the time: soon the vehicle takes over…

Quite an experience! For the moment, we can only show you some photos…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We bought a used Lexus CT 200h…

We bought a 2012 Lexus CT 200h… for future-proof “green” urban transport! 

Faithful readers know that our sturdy 23 year old Volvo 850 cannot enter the capital of Europe anymore from January 1st 2019 onwards, and that we therefore were looking to replace it with a quality car with a truly future proof propulsion, i.e. in this time and age a hybrid.

We all know that Toyota and last but not least Lexus are building very impressive hybrids for decades now, and therefore this was what we were looking for.

After some thorough market research we discovered that compared to used Priuses, the Lexus CT 200h is offering comparatively good value, and so this is the one we bought ourselves. Just look at the photo above, where it proudly stands in the showroom of Toyota dealer GMAN.

This Lexus was built in 2012, and the odometer reads 82.233 km. It comes with navigation, rear view camera, cruise control, automatic temp control, etc. Soon, i.e. within a few weeks, we will hit the road with it, so stay tuned for regular reports on the (very) “long-term” test of our Lexus, as we are planning to keep it for years to come!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

 

We drove the Alpine A 110: The pinnacle of French sporting panache

Alpines have always been iconic cars for us. How we loved the Berlinette rally cars of the 60’s and 70’s with their fluent contours, their growling sound, their speed, indeed, their panache. Building a modern successor with the same look, qualities and character is no small challenge. But Alpine, conceived as a standalone business unit within Groupe Renault, has succeeded, and how…

We already enjoyed this formidable thoroughbred at the latest Zoute Grand Prix GT Tour, where your servant had the privilege to be invited by Anja Van der Borght to be her co-driver at this event. You can read about this exhilarating experience in our columns. You can easily imagine our delight when the dynamic PR people of  Renault Belux offered us a regular test drive in their French racing blue Alpine. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Renault is at the Brussels Show in 2019, and looks further into the future…

The recently appointed CEO of Renault Benelux, Jerôme Pannaud, commented on the commercial results of Renault in Europe.

At its annual press conference prior to the Brussels Motor Show, Renault looks back at a very successful year, lifts the veil on new and improved models, and paints a bold scenario on how it sees the future.

All this in a beautiful and stunning “art déco” setting at the villa of the institute Bruno Lussato & Marina Fedler, which is an outstanding venue for conferences and presentations for corporates and groups.

Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the VW Touareg Tiptronic III 3.0 V6 TDI: a very impressive flagship…

State of the art technology is more than ever the hallmark of Germany’s largest automaker. Its Touareg opened more than a decade ago the era of the luxury high performance SUV brimming with sophistication and avant-garde mechanics. VW wants to maintain this tradition, and indeed, its latest generation Touareg has what it takes to set again new standards in its segment. This new flagship is now amongst us, and it is a formidable car, sharing its platform with the Bentley Bentayga and the Lamborghini Urus… Need we say more?

We drove for you here the version with the supersmooth and velvety powerful 3 liter V6 diesel engine, which again proves brilliantly how good modern diesels have become. It is coupled to an equally superb 8 speed Tiptronic and features as standard equipment the 4MOTION all wheel drive. All this warrants a delightful driving experience, and indeed that’s what it proved to be… Just read on.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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