Latest car news: Lotus’ Halo, Porsche Cayman T and Boxster T, Nissan GTR special edition and more

Latest car news in India: From Lotus’ plans to take on hypercars with a Rs 18crore Halo, a special edition of Nissan’s GTR and Jaguar F-Type rally-spec tribute car, here’s everything to keep yourself updated with everything from the world of luxury cars.

Lotus has made its name making lightweight high-performance sports cars with comparatively affordable price-tags. However, if rumours are to be believed, the British automaker is secretly working on a halo car that will compete with the best and the most expensive hypercars. With fresh funds from its new majority shareholder Geely, Lotus plans to re-establish itself as one of the leading names in the high-performance motoring segment, and spearheading that effort is an all-electric hypercar codenamed “Omega”. Currently being developed at Lotus' British headquarters in Norfolk, the electric hypercar’s concept version is reportedly going to be showcased sometime this year. The details are scarce at the moment, but the Lotus halo car is expected to be priced north of £2 million (about `18 crore), which is almost twenty times the price of the most expensive car Lotus currently sells. According to reports, the powertrain of the battery-powered hypercar is being developed in-house and will produce in excess of 1000 horsepower to compete against similarly priced hypercars. With an expected launch in 2022, the Lotus hypercar will go head-to-head with the likes of Rimac C_Two, the Nio EP9, and the Pininfarina PF0, along with the more traditional hypercars like Koenigsegg Agera RS and Bugatti Chiron.

Strip it to the basics to get more

2019 Porsche 718 Cayman T and Boxster T: Porsche has added a new T variant to its 718 line-up, which has been introduced as a model to sit in the middle of the base Boxster and Cayman, and their more powerful S versions. Following the same formula of the 911 T, the 718 T models are stripped-down variants for purists that come with performance-oriented equipment as standard to focus on driving pleasure. While the T (Touring) variant makes do with the same 295 horsepower 2.0-litre flat four engine, it features several high-performance upgrades that include the GT sport steering wheel, Sport Chrono Package, Porsche Active Suspension Management that lowers the body by 20mm over 20-inch wheels. In addition to that, standard equipment includes Porsche Torque Vectoring, which brings the locking rear diff, and a short-throw shifter. Both a six-speed manual and a seven-speed PDK automatic transmission are on offer. To make it as light as possible, the T variant uses door pulls instead of interior handles, simplified two-way-adjustable power seats with cloth inserts, and doesn’t come with an infotainment system as standard. In terms of aesthetic changes, the 718 T models come with agate gray mirror shells and black chrome tailpipes, along with “T” badges across the interior and the exterior.

Fresh, competitive, and limited

Nissan GT-R Special Edition: In the last couple of years, we have seen Nissan come up with several special edition versions of the GT-R to keep it fresh and competitive — the current generation GT-R (R35) has been on sale for almost 11 years now. With no sign of its predecessor, the Japanese car manufacturer has unveiled another limited edition, this time to celebrate the brand’s collaboration with Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka. The 21-year-old tennis superstar from Japan worked with Nissan to come up with three special paint finishes unique to the limited edition: Brilliant White Pearl, Meteor Flake Black Pearl, and Midnight Opal. In addition to the special paint job, the limited edition comes with a dry carbon rear spoiler and a golden plate in the engine bay to make it distinguishable from the standard GT-R. rounding off the package are LED top rear lights and unique interior scheme matched to the selected exterior finish. Mechanically, the car is exactly the same as the standard GT-R and is powered by the same 3.8-litre V6 that produces close to 570 horsepower. Nissan will make only 50 of these special edition GT-Rs which will be sold exclusively in Japan.

Rally spec open-top Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar F-Type rally-spec tribute car: The Jaguar F-Type Roadster doesn’t come across as the perfect choice to build a rally car, but the British automaker found it fitting to create not one but two rally-spec open-top F-Types to celebrate 70 years of XK 120, an open two-seater that was highly successful in rallying during its heyday. The pair of F-Type tribute cars have been transformed into purpose-built rally machines by upgrading it with all the necessary competition-spec components. While the standard roads tyres have been swapped for knobby off-road tyres, the cars feature proper completion-grade rally suspensions that have softer springs and three-way adjustable dampers. The brake set-up has been also upgraded with grooved discs and four-piston callipers front and back. Other upgrades include motorsport wheels, limited-slip differential, fire extinguisher, FIA-spec roll cage, competition seats, and a proper hydraulic handbrake. To top it all, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine has also been re-tuned to churn out 300 horsepower. In terms of aesthetic modifications, the F-Type rally cars feature hood-mounted light pod and special racing decal over white paint finish. The tribute cars will only take part in promotional events over the coming months and won’t compete or go on sale.

Born on the race track

McLaren 720S Spa 68: The McLaren F1 Team is not only one of the oldest active teams but also the second most successful team in Formula One history after Ferrari. The automotive division of McLaren has created a special edition version of the 720S to commemorate the very first F1 victory, which took place 50 years ago. Called the McLaren 720S Spa 68, the name refers to the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix where McLaren scored its first ever F1 victory. What makes that particular race even more special is the fact that it was none other than the company’s founder Bruce McLaren who drove the winning car.

The McLaren 720S Spa 68 was designed by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the company’s customisation division. To honour the milestone, the special edition wears the same iconic Papaya Orange colour from the F1 team’s racing livery and sports the outline of the 14km Spa track in front of the rear wheel arch and on the headrests. In addition to that, the carbon fibre sill covers feature the inscription: “1st McLaren F1 victory Belgian Grand Prix 9th June 1968 - Bruce McLaren”. Commissioned by McLaren Brussels, the McLaren 720S Spa 68 is a collection of three units with two already spoken for. There is no information if the third one is up for sale or its price-tag.

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