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By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

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LAND Rover is taking the performance SUV fight to Porsche as the Brit luxury car maker has unveiled a 550 horsepower version of its popular Range Rover Sport.

The car, which is being launched at the prestigious Pebble Beach concourse event, is the fastest, most powerful Land Rover ever produced and the first to wear the SVR designation being adopted by future Land Rover and Jaguar high-performance models.

The Range Rover Sport SVR accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and boasts a top speed electronically limited to 162mph plus a Nurburgring Nordschleife lap time of eight minutes 14 seconds – one of the fastest times ever recorded by a production SUV.

John Edwards, managing director of Land Rover's special operations, said: "The Range Rover Sport SVR is a natural progression beyond the core vehicle's outstanding on and off-road capabilities and leading-edge design. Its exhilarating performance will satisfy a particularly demanding customer set.

"A thorough range of revisions specially developed by Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations combine to make this premium derivative even more distinctive both inside and out, as well as taking its dynamic capabilities to the next level without impacting on comfort, refinement or all-terrain versatility. The Range Rover Sport SVR is truly the world's most capable performance SUV."

Customer orders can be placed from October 2014 at an on-the-road price of £93,450 with first deliveries expected in early 2015.

New car buyers are moving back towards petrol engines after years of diesel domination, if Ford's latest sales figures are any guide.

The company has revealed that its multi-award-winning 1.0-litre Ecoboost turbocharged petrol engine now powers one in every five cars sold in Europe, totalling 120,000 vehicles from January to the end of June.

That figure is an increase from 104,000 1.0-litre Ecoboost-powered cars (pictured) sold in the same period in 2013.

Within the statistics there is a clear move away from diesel in some sectors, with the B-Max showing 47 per cent of sales going to the smallest Ecoboost unit. One third of Focus buyers also went for the same engine.

"Customers are clearly enjoying the benefits from a small engine that offers great fuel efficiency with no compromise to refinement or performance," said Barb Samardzich, chief operating officer, Ford of Europe.

"The range of models offering the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine will rise to 11 when the all-new Mondeo is launched in the coming months, and the new 140 PS version in the Fiesta Red Edition and Black Edition shows there is even more potential."

The engine is the first to win the international Engine of the Year accolade three times running, and is available in 99bhp, 123bhp and 138bhp versions according to model choice.

Korean car maker Hyundai has taken the wraps off the latest generation of its i20 compact hatchback. The car, which will receive its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October, has been designed and developed in Europe.

According to its maker, three key attributes underline how it meets the needs of European consumers: class-leading interior space, a host of high-technology and comfort-enhancing features, and distinctive, refined design. Based on a new platform, Hyundai is boasting of best in class front and rear legroom plus boot space. The firm is also keen to position the i20 higher up the value ladder, and is offering features such as a panoramic sunroof plus a rear-view camera and front and rear LED lighting.

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