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All desirable, in different ways

Several exceptional cars have made headlines recently. The Morgan 1909 Edition EV3 could become a Steampunk icon when the plug-in three-wheeler is globally launched at the Salon Prove luxury event at Britain’s Blenheim Palace on September 1-3.

A collaboration between Morgan and retailer Selfridges, the model commemorates both companies’ formation in 1909 and has a driving kit with luxury items from Alexander McQueen, Dents and Belstaff.

Only 19 models of the £52,500 (HK$539,200) collectible will be available, but it looks desirable in “black with Selfridges bronze detailing” and promises a top speed of 144km/h and a range of 193km to 249km. Morgan made strong impression at the Bund Classic luxury show in Shanghai in October last year, but its Hong Kong presence was unclear at press time.

A rare 1931 Mathis PY 7CV was arguably the “barn-find lot of the year” when it was auctioned for £1,463 in Britain last weekend. The 1,231cc, four-cylinder restoration project was hidden from the invading Germans in a northern French chateau during the second world war, but was only discovered by its present owner in 2014.

The collectible was offered for sale without a reserve with 25,000 miles on its clock at the Silverstone Classic, auctioneers Silverstone Auctions said. A barn-find 1939 Fiat Topplino was also offered without a reserve at the sale.

The Mathis marque was founded in 1910 by Emile Mathis, a car dealer in Strasbourg, Alsace, which was then part of Germany. During the first world war, the Germans sent Mathis to Switzerland to buy tyres but he fled to France.

When Alsace became French again in 1918, Mathis resumed car production there and competed with Citroen. By 1927, the company’s Strasbourg factory made more than 20,000 cars a year and was France’s fourth-largest marque.

However, the Mathis marque closed in 1950, online histories say. About 65 cars from 11 marques entered last weekend’s 24 Hours of Spa GT3 endurance race, southeast in Liege, in Belgium.

However, 11 customer racing teams drove Audi R8 LMS cars in the European Blancpain GT Series event, the marque says. Audi also celebrates making its 200th R8 LMS, having produced 136 models of the first-generation race car and 64 of its latest version since last year.

The R8 LMS has proven a popular car with racing teams, having won 28 overall championship titles, 34 class titles and nine overall victories in 24-hour races, Audi says.

The 200th Audi R8 LMS was built at Neckarsulm last month and goes to the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team, contenders in the ADAC GT Masters.

The marque’s Audi Sport customer racing offers a global service and sales network, with a presence in China. The racing car also has much in common with Audi’s R8 supercar. The R8 LMS’ chassis was built at the marque’s “Böllinger Höfe” factory and on the same production lines as the R8.

The track car also uses the “near-unchanged” V10 FSI engine of the road R8 and half of its components and assemblies. The Lamborghini Huracan, GT3 Ferrari 488 GT3 and Mercedes-AMG GT3 are also popular racers at Spa, along with the Porsche 911 GT3 R, BMW F13 M6 GT3, Emil Frey Jaguar GT3 and the Bentley Continental GT3. The race was won by ROWE Racing’s BMW F13 M6 GT3.

BMW overtook Tesla in the British plug-in “Oscars” on July 22. The Tesla Model S was praised in the 10-category AutoVolt Electric and Hybrid awards.

However, BMW stole the show when its i3 and i8 won category awards and the medium electric-vehicle and hybrid winner, the 330e plug-in hybrid, was named the awards’ best of show. There were honours, too, for Nissan’s 30kWh Leaf and e-NV200 van, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Hyundai Ioniq and the Mirai, Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell car.

The 1,500-horsepower hybrid Koenigsegg Regera stood out at the awards: it has five-litre V8, a new battery and three electric motors to give it low-rev torque. The marque took out the traditional gearbox to save weight and installed its Koenigsegg Direct Drive transmission to help the “megacar” to a combined 2,000Nm of torque, 100km/h in 2.8 seconds and 400km/h in about 20 seconds.

The Regera also has an 800-volt, 4.5kWh battery pack producing 700hp and a fish-tail exhaust outlet to make the car sound sexier. Just 80 are being made in Ängelholm and each is estimated to cost US$1.9 million online.

The BMW M5 Competition Edition is now for sale worldwide. Only 200 are being made and they cost £100,995 each, the Bavarian marque said on July 22.

Fitted with a more powerful twin-turbo V8 than the standard BMW M5’s block, the super saloon now has 600hp and pumps 700Nm of torque to achieve 100km/h in about four seconds.

Its top-of-the-range technology includes BMW’s seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission Drivelogic and Efficient Dynamics, adaptive LED headlights, engine Auto Start-Stop and Brake Energy.

Available in black or white, the Competition Edition has carbon fibre BMW M rear spoiler, rear diffuser and mirror caps; a black kidney grille; and 20-inch alloy wheels with six-piston caliper brakes. There are also a sun protection glass, an electric rear sunblind and a Bang Olufsen Advanced audio system.

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