A feast of speed on offer at a dealer near you

From classics to Italian thoroughbreds, Hong Kong’s car showrooms await

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 10:36pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 August, 2016, 10:36pm

There is a lot to see in Hong Kong’s showrooms in the week ahead, beginning with Ferrari.

The marque’s local dealer, Auto Italia, presents several exciting convertibles at its Repulse Bay showroom, until August 9. Two are very valuable classics: a 1964 Pininfarina-designed 275 GTS and a 1969 365 GTB4.

The older, 2+2, 260-horsepower model was first launched at the 1964 Paris Salon and fitted with a 3,286cc V12.

It had a neat hood arrangement for its day, the dealer says: “The folding hood sat in a recess at the rear of the cabin when lowered, and was fitted with a clip-on cover in this position.”

RM Auctions sold a 1966 version at Le Sporting, Monte Carlo, in May for US$2.024 million. The soft-top version of the Ferrari 365 GTB4 was launched in Frankfurt in 1969 with a 4,390cc V12 and proved a hit in America, Auto Italia adds. Auctions America sold a a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona at US$600,000 at its second annual Santa Monica sale in June.

The dealer also presents the Handling Speciale (HS) version (HK$2.98 million) of the retractible-topped California T (the main picture, above).

The HS technology gives the 3,855cc V8 stiffer springs, a sportier sound and improved cornering performance. Earlier versions of the California T can also be upgraded with HS for HK$137,170.

Audi Hong Kong showrooms revved up their promotion of the new 150hp A4 (from HK$379,000) and A4 Avant wagon (from HK$399,900), a week ago, with offers of Comfort Key system and Audi Virtual Cockpit upgrades “valued at over HK$20,000”. On July 29, the marque said it had “26 units remaining”.

The 1.4-litre, fuel-injected A4s were unveiled in front of 800 guests at the Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 15 with new Audi Matrix LED headlights, S Line sports kit, 18-inch alloy wheels and Audi Dynamic Indicator lights.

The marque also offers options such as the City Assistance Package safety assistance systems such as Pre Sense City, Park Assist, 360-degree-view parking camera and exit warning technology.

The A4 has been the Four Rings’ best-seller in Hong Kong, according to Audi Hong Kong managing director, René Koneberg.

The latest generation “incorporates the very best technology and numerous driver assistance systems that are normally only available in the C segment into the B segment, thus creating a new benchmark in the market”, he says. The model is also “among the safest cars in its field”, Koneberg adds. “NCAP has awarded it the top score of five stars for safety and pedestrian protection”.

Koneberg also launched the marque’s customer-retention programme, “myAudi”, in Hong Kong. Its rewards and services allow “myAudi” members to “enjoy exclusive privileges” in five areas: Travel, Lifestyle, Wine & Dine, Audi Exclusive and Event. Details of this “privileged community” and “other like-minded Audi owners” are at www.myaudihk.com.

Lotus has good news for track racers. It says its new Elise Race 250 is “one hardcore, track-orientated package” and “eligible for many race series around the world”. The fastie has a supercharged, 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual gearbox, and produces 243hp at 7,200rpm, with 250Nm of torque between 3,500rpm and 5,500rpm, the marque has said.

“Optimised to help slash lap times”, the Elise offers track-oriented features such as Nitron adjustable dampers; upgraded racing brakes; an FIA-approved carbon-fibre race seat with six-point racing harness, a removable steering wheel and a polycarbonate rear windscreen. Its aerodynamics include a front splitter, rear diffuser, floor extensions and a rear wing to create 66kg of downforce at 160km/h and 155kg at its top speed of 248 km/h on 16-inch and 17-inch Yokohama AO48 tyres.

In Hethel track tests, the 900kg Elise Race 250 is “half a second quicker than the previous Elise Cup 220 R and represents the fastest recorded lap time for a Lotus developed race-variant of the Elise”, the marque says. The model is also “the fastest, most focused Elise produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favourite with our racers around the world”, says Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales.

The car sells for £53,500 (HK$548,486) in Britain (including VAT at 20 per cent) or £44,583 (excluding VAT) and US$76,200 (HK$591,224) in the US (excluding local taxes).

In the world of classics, a 1958 AC Ace Bristol sold for £249,750 (HK$2.56 million), more than £80,000 over its lower estimate, at Silverstone Auctions’ Classic Sale, last weekend. Meanwhile, a 1989 Peugeot 205 1.9 GTI exchanged hands for £30,938, more than £12,000 over its lower estimate, and with just 12,852km on its clock.

Series I Jaguar E-Types were in high demand, the auctioneer says. “Selling for more than £48,000 over its lower estimate, a matching numbers and fully restored 1965 Jaguar E-Type Series I 4.2 FHC was hammered away for £123,750 including premium,” it explains.

“One of the very earliest cars, a 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster, chassis number 62, was sold for £140,625. A nut-and-bolt restored, right-hand drive 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series II Fixed Head Coupe also sold for £118,125, more than £30,000 over its lower estimate.

Meanwhile, a rare 1996 Mercedes-Benz SL70 AMG went for for £51,188; a 1984 Audi Quattro sold for £26,438; a 1994 Ferrari 512 TR went for £162,000; and a 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR, which had been hidden in Japan for 30 years, sold for £495,000.