The BMW M5 gets even sharper with the M5 Competition…

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BMW M GmbH has sharpened the race-inspired character of its BMW M5 high-performance sedan with an even more powerful model: the BMW M5 Competition, creating a new product category. In future, BMW M GmbH will offer the most powerful variants of its high-performance cars as standalone models. This new status reflects the individual character of the BMW M5 Competition.

It also embodies the latest chapter in a history of success which began with the M Competition package (including power boost) configured specifically for the predecessor to the current BMW M5 – and which the exclusive new BMW M5 Competition builds on convincingly.


A 19 kW/25 hp hike in engine output over the standard version of the new BMW M5 (to 460 kW/625 hp), even more direct responses and bespoke chassis tuning combine to maximize dynamics, agility and precision.

Superb performance…

The 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology has been modified specifically for this new application and develops peak torque of 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) across an even broader rev range – from 1,800 rpm to 5,800 rpm.


You can image that the performance is stellar: acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) goes in 3.3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 10.8 seconds.

Of course, there is also the sound. Indeed, the tune of the standard-fitted M Sport exhaust system can be adjusted at the touch of a button. The driver can also use the M Sound Control button to initiate an extremely discreet soundtrack.


Sharp drivetrain, chassis and suspension

Model-specific engine mounts with a higher spring rate provide a much firmer connection between the drive unit and vehicle structure in the new BMW M5 Competition. This has a noticeable effect on the car’s responses, the sharpness of its turn-in and the experience of the engine’s soundtrack inside the car.


The engine’s power is channeled to the road via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Added to which, the new BMW M5 Competition is specified with the M xDrive M-specific all-wheel-drive system and the Active M Differential at the rear axle.

The centrally controlled interaction between the two systems optimizes traction, agility and directional stability.

The M xDrive system’s rear-wheel bias provides the ideal basis for a full blooded performance-driving experience. Added to which, the new BMW M5 Competition supplements M Dynamic Mode with three driving programs honed for use on the track: 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD, which switches to pure rear-wheel drive and deactivates the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).

Features of the chassis include a seven-millimeter drop in ride height, special damper hydraulics and stiffer springs, an increased camber at the front axle and modified toe links and anti-roll bars at the rear.

Sportiness in style…


Eye-catching design cues emphasize the exclusivity of the new BMW M5 Competition. BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim is complemented by the use of high-gloss black for the kidney grille surround, decorative grating of the signature BMW M gills, rear spoiler and exterior mirror caps. “Competition” lettering is added to the likewise black “M5” badge on the boot lid. Standard specification for the new BMW M5 Competition also comprises exclusive 20-inch forged M light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tyres.

An impressive BMW, needless to say that we would love to lay our hands on one in a not too distant future…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

DS X E-TENSE: a designer’s dream to drive in 2035…

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DS designers were asked what their dream car would look like within 17 years. New forms, new materials, new technologies. The team came up with a truly stunning result: The fruit of their collective fantasy and out of the box thinking is DS X E-TENSE, a car with stylish refinement and very bold solutions indeed…

Just look at the photos and read further, and be amazed…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Jaguars will race again at the Le Mans Classic 2018…


The spectacular Le Mans Classic event features on the international 2018 Jaguar Classic Challenge calendar for pre-1966 Jaguar cars, and that is good news for all the Jag enthusiasts.

This Jaguar Classic Challenge returns for its fourth consecutive season, giving owners of pre-1966 race-prepared Jaguar C-types, D-types, E-types, XKs and saloons the opportunity to compete in five 55-60-minute races at prestigious race weekends across the UK and Europe.

Jaguar Le Mans Classic 2016 7th-10th July 2016 World Copyright: Nick Dungan/Patrick Gosling/Beadyeye Ref: JAGUAR-LEMANS-CLASSIC-2016-PG-1295.CR2
Jaguar Le Mans Classic 2016
7th-10th July 2016

The biennial Le Mans Classic event, held on the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe in France – which is where Jaguar scored seven 24-hour race wins between 1951 and 1990 – joins the calendar for 2018, alongside the UK-based Donington Historic Festival, Silverstone International Trophy and Oulton Park Gold Cup, plus the Spa Six Hours in Belgium.

The return to Le Mans Classic on 6-8 July is especially poignant as 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jaguar XJR-9 LM’s win at the 24-hour race. Current Jaguar Classic Chief Test Driver Andy Wallace took victory in 1988 alongside Jan Lammers and Johnny Dumfries.


A look at the Jaguar Classic Challenge calendar shows the following dates: 4-6 May: Donington Historic Festival, Leicestershire, 16-17 June: HSCC Silverstone International Trophy, Northamptonshire,


6-8 July: Le Mans Classic, Circuit de la Sarthe, France, 25-27 August: The HSCC Oulton Park Gold Cup, Cheshire and last but not least 14-16 September: Spa Six Hours, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Lexus design event at the 2018 Milan Design Week: focusing on limitless co-existence



The rays representing each individual form a magnificent “together”, underlining the philosophy of limitless “co”existence…

The Milan Design week, held until 22nd of April, holds also a remarkable event from Lexus, in the framework of their annual Lexus Design Award in Milan. The venue is at CAVALLERIZZE, the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e dellaTecnologia Leonardo da Vinci Via Olona, 6, 20123 Milano MI, Italy.


The exhibits are “CO-” created by featured designers, actually the 12 finalist designs of the Lexus Design Award 2018 (4 prototypes and 8 panel displays). The visitor is taken on a unique experience trip through the building to evoke “Co”togetherness and community…

Just read further…

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Masters of the automobile: Roberto Giolito


We met Roberto Giolito at the presentation of FCA Heritage at the Rétromobile Show in Paris lately. You can read our report about this presentation and the FCA heritage activities in these columns. Here we focus on the man behind it all, who started in high school as a jazz bass player…and brush him here a short portrait.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We spoke with Peter Quintus, Sales Manager BMW M GmbH: “we embody a unique driving philosophy”

These are great times for BMW “M” : the BMW M5 has been voted “World Performance Car 2018”, making this the seventh time BMW has received a World Car Award from the organisation “World Car of the Year”.


A good occasion to publish here the interview we had with Peter Quintus (on the left of the photo, and with Peter Henrich, CEO of BMW Group Belux) on the Brussels Car Show early this year…just read further!

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We drove the Mazda MX-5 1.5 SKYACTIV-G SkyCruise: the purest joy of roadster driving.


Never mind the season: this MX-5 teaches you what car driving is all about, and it is the ultimate four wheeled pleasure, whatever the weather, whatever the road. Many people have seen the light, and have bought an MX-5, and therefore it is the most sold open two seater sportscar in the world, actually more than a million of it have already hit the road. About seeing the light, did you know that Mazda is an ancient Iranian god of light?


The fourth generation of the MX-5, called the ND series, was presented for the European market on the Paris Motor Show in September 2014. The RF (Retractable Fastback) version came late 2016.  A lot of detailed and clever engineering has gone into the car to improve it even more. We drove the roadster for this test over French wintery roads, and are totally smitten. It is surprisingly comfortable, yet has lost nothing of its agility and handling, together with a masterfully willing engine and delightful manual 6 speed gearbox. Pure joy remains built in. Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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We drove the Renault Alaskan 190 HP dCi auto: a sturdy gallic companion for all your roads…


Pickups are all the rage, and they have already inspired entire nations, like the USA for instance. They evoke the lure of wide open spaces, and also Europeans find this ever more attractive. Therefore, it is only logical that Renault uses the opportunities of its alliance with Nissan to add a formidable pickup to its range which bears many similarities with the Nissan Navara NP 300. This Alaskan was initially unveiled in Colombia in 2016 and is already a success in Latin America’s long-standing pick-up market, the Renault Alaskan went on sale in Europe in September 2017. We drove it for you with the powerful 190 HP 2,3 liter diesel engine. Making a strong statement wherever you go…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Vermant NV launches Collection, a full service for classics…

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We told you already earlier on these pages, that Guy Vermant, who is a Volvo dealer since decades, and has included now Kia and Polestar in its range, has always nurtured a true passion for classic cars. He now presented on the Antwerp Classic Salon his new project, “Collection by Vermant”.


At the Antwerp Classic Salon, Guy Vermant presented the “Collection by Vermant”, and the fiery red P1800 won the coveted Concours d’Elegance in the category of cars being built between 1956 and 1975. 

The classic car market has grown ever more popular, and Guy Vermant is convinced the time has come to deliver expert assistance to the owners and lovers of classics.

His concept provides a comprehensive range of services: first of all service, where three specialized mechanics cater for repair, revision or partial restauration.

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Then there is storage, where Vermant has a proper “refuge” for your coveted classic.

Collection By Vermant - Photo by

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Another shot from the”Collection by Vermant”  stand at the Antwerp Classic Salon…

There is also a Care & Shine service, where the owner can select between detailing and corrosion protection operations.

A three step polishing session is developed, and also a special coating process for the protection of bodywork hollow spaces or alloy wheel protection.

Collection By Vermant - Photo by

Collection By Vermant - Photo by

Collection by Vermant will also prepare your car for rally’s and will also transport your car to and from concours sites. Last but not least it will provide you with support. This includes valuation, intermediation and expert advice.

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Of course, there will also be classic cars on offer, soon there will be a brand new showroom with a selection of classics to choose from.


Guy Vermant taking his prize at the Antwerp Classic Salon… 

Soon we will report more in detail about these services, so stay tuned on these columns. One date to note in your diary is April 26, where the Collection by Vermant will have its “open house” evening, from 19 to 23 h, at the Generaal De Wittelaan 7B, 2800 Malines, Belgium.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

We had an interview Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President of MINI: “we sell a lifestyle…”


At the recent Brussels Motor Show we talked with the Senior Vice President of MINI. Born in The 46-year-old Sebastian Mackensen with a master’s degree in business administration and economics joined the BMW Group in October 2013 and brought with him many years of international sales experience in the automotive premium segment. He started as head of worldwide MINI Sales. In March 2015 he then succeeded Jochen Goller as Senior Vice President MINI…

Just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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