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ford-capri-mk3-wallpaper-7FORD CAPRI MK III

The Capri Mk III was referred to internally as “Project Carla”, and although little more than a substantial update of the Capri II, it was often referred to as the Mk III. The first cars were available in March 1978, but failed to halt a terminal decline in sales. The concept of a heavily facelifted Capri II was shown at the 1976 Geneva show: a Capri II with a front very similar to the Escort RS2000 (with four headlamps and black slatted grille), and with a rear spoiler, essentially previewed the model some time before launch. The new styling cues, most notably the black “Aeroflow” grille (first used on the Mk I Fiesta) and the “sawtooth” rear lamp lenses echoed the new design language being introduced at that time by Ford of Europe’s chief stylist Uwe Bahnsen across the entire range. Similar styling elements were subsequently introduced in the 1979 Cortina 80, 1980 Escort Mk III and the 1981 Granada Mk IIb. In addition, he Mk III featured improved aerodynamics, leading to improved performance and economy over the Mk II and the trademark quad headlamps were introduced.

At launch the existing engine and transmission combinations of the Capri II were carried over, with the 3.0 S model regarded as the most desirable model although the softer Ghia derivative with automatic, rather than manual transmission, was the bigger seller of the two V6-engined models.

Mk III models available:

  • Capri L (1.3, 1.6)
  • Capri LS (1.6)
  • Capri GL (1.6, 2.0)
  • Capri S (1.6, 2.0, 2.3, 3.0)
  • Capri Laser (1.6, 2.0)
  • Capri Ghia (2.0, 3.0)
  • Capri 2.8 Injection (2.8)
  • Capri 2.8 Injection Special (2.8)
  • Capri 280 (2.8)

Special limited addition trimmed models:

  • Capri Cabaret I and II (1.6, 2.0)
  • Capri Calypso I and II (1.6)
  • Capri Cameo (1.3, 1.6)
  • Capri GT4 (1.6, 2.0)
  • Capri Tempo (1.3, 1.6)

Ford began to focus their attention on the UK Capri market as sales declined, realising the car had somethingCapri of a cult following there. Unlike sales of the contemporary 4-door Cortina, Capri sales in Britain were to private buyers who would demand less discounts than fleet buyers allowing higher margins with the coupé. Ford tried to maintain interest in 1979 with Ford Rallye Sport, Series X, “X Pack” options from the performance oriented RS parts range. Although expensive and slow selling these proved that the press would enthusiastically cover more developed Capris with higher performance.

Despite being the most popular sporting model in Britain for most of its production life, the third generation Capri was also one of the most stolen cars in Britain during the 1980s and early 1990s, being classified as “high risk” of theft in a Home Office report.

The 3.0 S was used extensively in the TV series The Professionals, with characters Bodie driving a silver 3.0 S and Doyle a gold 3.0 S, which was credited with maintaining interest in the car in the UK.



Dutch manufacturer Spyker has revealed a Spyder version of the 375bhp V6-powered B6 Venator concept car

Spyker has revealed a new convertible version of the B6 Venator, called the Spyder, at The Quail event in Pebble Beach. The new concept will pave the way for a production model in 2014, powered by a mid-mounted 375bhp V6. This will be the most affordable Spyker model to date, and is aimed squarely at Porsche 911 buyers.

The Dutch supercar maker – recently known for its attempt to save the dying Saab brand – first unveiled the mid-engined sportscar in coupe form at the 2013 Geneva motor show.

It’s built around a custom carbon fibre body, and Victor Muller – the CEO of Spyker – penned the design. It features many of Spyker’s trademark features, such as the large mash front grille and aircraft-inspired glass canopy roof.

At the rear, the B6 gets twin LED light clusters, and a distinctive brake light strip along the lip of the rear panel. Inside the cabin, it’s all leather and brushed aluminium, in a very similar style to previous Spykers.

The carbon fibre body is underpinned by an aluminium monocoque structure, meaning the car tips the scales at below 1400kg. The engine will be hooked up to a conventional six-speed automatic.

Although this show car is officially just a concept, the B6 is expected to go on sale in 2014 in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, with US sales following later in 2015. Muller suggested that the market was crying out for a more-affordable Spyker model at Geneva, and US prices have been pegged at 150,000 dollars, or around £95,000 in the UK


Facelifted Mercedes-Benz B-class gets Paris debut

Mercedes-Benz has revealed a facelifted version of the second-generation B-class at the Paris motor show.

Set for UK delivery early next year, the refreshed B-class receives a range of mild exterior styling changes, highly quality interior appointments and a more efficient engines.

Those engine changes include a revised version of the Renault-supplied 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel unit that provides the B180 CDI Blue Efficiency with combined cycle consumption and average CO2 emissions that better the outgoing model by 4.2mpg and 4g/km at an impressive 78.5mpg and 94g/km in standard six-speed manual guise.

The highlight of the facelifted line-up is the B-class Electric Drive – a car developed and engineered by Mercedes-Benz in close co-operation with California electric car specialist, Tesla.

Powered by a synchronous electric motor developing 177bhp and 251lb ft of torque, Mercedes-Benz’s first true series production electric car is claimed to provide 0-62mph acceleration in 7.9sec and a top speed limited to 100mph.

Set to rival the BMW i3 and recently introduced Volkswagen eGolf when it goes on sale in the UK with other models during the first quarter of 2015, the B-class Electric Drive uses a 16.6kWh lithium ion battery that is claimed to provide it with a range of 124 miles. In a further development, a total of four facelifted B-class models – the 181bhp 2.0-litre B220, 208bhp 2.0-litre B250, 134bhp B200 CDI and 174bhp B220 CDI – will be sold with optional 4Matic four-wheel drive.

Since its launch in 2011, the second-generation B-class has garnered more than 350,000 sales worldwide.

B-Klasse 2014B-Class 2014


Hot new Peugeot 208 GTi celebrates 30 years since the launch of the original 205 GTi

Just 300 examples will be sold, with 100 coming to the UK. That a third of the total allocation is coming to this country is testament, says Peugeot, to British affinity with the GTi name.

The 208 GTi 30th anniversary special was revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer, and celebrates 30 years since the launch of the iconic 205 GTi.

The special edition comes with a new 1.6-litre THP petrol engine, which produces 205bhp and 221lb ft of torque. The new engine, which conforms to Euro 6 emissions regulations, is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The GTi also features a Torsen differential taken from the RCZ R.

The car’s suspension has also been lowered by 10mm, and the track widened both at the front and rear. Larger 18-inch alloy wheels are also fitted, while new twin chrome exhausts feature at the rear. Peugeot says the ESP and traction control systems have been re-calibrated to become less intrusive, while the steering has also been enhanced to improve feel.

Peugeot says that the 208 GTi 30th anniversary edition can reach 62mph in 6.5 seconds, while acceleration between 50 and 70mph is covered in 6.0 seconds. Its CO2 emissions are rated at 125g/km.

The limited-edition 208 GTi 30th anniversary will go on sale priced at £21,995.

JS47284578Is it a dog, a badger or an old fox?

Well, experts think this may be the first sighting of a raccoon roaming free on Tyneside.

The furry mammal, usually found in North America, was spotted by a surprised jogger in Wallsend on Friday morning.

Wildlife experts believe it is the first recorded sighting of the wild beast in the area.

Tom Hughes, 22, was running through the grounds of Wallsend Hall at around 7am when something caught his eye.

He said: “I was running along and came across this curious creature.

“At first I thought it was a badger but its unusual facial markings made me think it was a raccoon.

“It was big and stocky, but very placid and didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere.”

Tom, who lives in Howdon, near Wallsend, is training to be in the Navy.

He said he hasn’t seen anything like this before but hoped to raise some awareness of the creature being out there.

Read more here

When Peter Hammond started breeding parrots at his home, he didn’t expect a squawk of protest from his neighbours.

His rural property was a noisy pig farm until recently, and there are other farms in the area. But his hobby has split the village – with angry neighbours complaining of sleepless nights and stress.

Now Mr Hammond’s critics appear to have won the battle to have the birds removed, after the local council ruled he had to rehome all of them within six months.

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The menu includes crickets and wax worms on toothpick skewers for dipping in a fountain of melted chocolate, along with “tarsal toffee” made with bug legs and mealworms and fudge infused with crickets and marshmallows.

What looked like a Halloween trick was actually an array of treats being served up Saturday at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans.

The 23,000-square-foot facility is the largest free-standing museum in the United States dedicated to insects. It houses thousands of live bugs, including beetles, cockroaches, wasps, bees, ants and termites. It also has a butterfly exhibit created to resemble a Japanese garden.

Insect-infused cuisine is also a huge draw. Thousands annually visit the museum’s Bug Appetit kitchen, where six-legged critters and worms are cooked and served.

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Every month check to see which famous person you share your birthday with. Many happy returns of the month to all you Virgo’s and Libra’s. You also share your birthday with the Urban Echo!

1 Sept – Daniel Sturridge (English striker who joined Liverpool in 2013 after spending four years with Chelsea FC) born 1989

2 Sept – Salma Hayek (Fiery Mexican actress who gave a memorable performance in the 2002 film, Frida.) born 1966

3 Sept – Junaid Jamshed (Musician and singer who fronts the band Vital Signs, the Pakistani pop group that released albums like Hum Tum in 1995) born 1964

4 Sept – Rishi Kapoor (Bollywood actor who earned a 2011 Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his role in Do Dooni Chaar) born 1952

5 Sept – Michael Keaton (Hollywood actor starred in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and Batman) born 1951

6 Sept – Foxy Brown (Controversial rapper and actress who was a part of the successful rap group The Firm) born 1978

7 Sept – Eazy E (Born Eric Lynn Wright, Eazy E was an influential West Coast rapper and producer who is best known for being a part of the late 80’s rap group N.W.A) born 1963 – 1995

8 Sept – Martin Freeman (Best known for his role in The Office. Later he played the lead role in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and starred as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit) born 1971

9 Sept – Akshay Kumar (Leading Indian actor that has starred in over 100 Hindi films. Hits include Rowdy Rathore and Special 26) born 1967

10 Sept – Karl Lagerfeld (Creative director behind numerous fashion brands, including Chanel and the Karl Lagerfeld Collection) born 1933

11 Sept – Johnny Vegas (Comedian and actor known for his crazy rants and portly figure) born 1971

12 Sept – Jennifer Hudson (Recording artist who gained fame when she starred as Effie White in the 2006 film Dreamgirls and was a finalist in the third season of American Idol) born 1981

13 Sept – Michael Johnson (One of the best track and field athletes in history. He won four Olympic gold medals and eight more World Championship gold medals) born 1967

14 Sept – Amy Winehouse (Five-time Grammy Award winner and soul singing icon whose album, Back to Black, became the best-selling album of the twenty-first century in the UK) born 1983 – 2011

15 Sept – Prince Harry (The younger son of England’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He is fourth in line to become monarch of the Commonwealth realms) born 1984

16 Sept – Flo Rida (Singer, songwriter whose debut single ‘Low’ catapulted him to superstardom) born 1979

17 Sept – Narendra Modi (Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat who became the longest-serving Chief Minister in Gujarat history. Current Prime Minister of India) born 1950

18 Sept – Jada Pinkett Smith (Hollywood actress who appeared on the TV series A Different World before starring in blockbuster films such as The Nutty Professor and The Matrix) born 1971

19 Sept – Twiggy (British fashion model known for her waif look during the 1960s. She popularized the ‘bob’ haircut and heavy eye makeup) born 1949

20 Sept – Sophia Loren (Italian actress who won an Oscar Award and an Academy Award for her role in the 1962 film, Two Women. Once voted the most beautiful woman in the world) born 1934

21 Sept – Kareena Kapoor Khan (Leading Bollywood actress who made her debut with Refugee. Since starred in films such as K3G and Bodyguard) born 1980

22 Sept – Bob Sapp (Versatile athlete who formerly played in the NFL, then became a professional wrestler, kickboxer, and MMA figther, popular figure in Japanese pop culture) born 1973

23 Sept – Karl Pilkington (English actor and radio show producer known for his work with Ricky Gervais in An Idiot Abroad and Derek) born 1972

24 Sept – Jack Dee (Award-winning British stand-up comedian, writer, and actor who is famous in England for his sitcom Lead Balloon. He won Celebrity Big Brother 2001) born 1961

25 Sept – Will Smith (Leading Hollywood actor who started his career with the Fresh Prince of Bel-air. Other hits include I am Legend and I Robot) born 1968

26 Sept – Manmohan Singh (Former Prime Minister of India. He assumed office in 2004 and held the distinction of being the first Prime Minister to belong to the Sikh faith) born 1932

27 Sept – Gwyneth Paltrow (Acclaimed Hollywood actress who gained fame for her roles in Emma and Shakespeare In Love) born 1972

28 Sept – Ranbir Kapoor (Leading Bollywood actor who starred in the 2012 film, Barfi! and the 2011 film, Rockstar. He had his first starring role in the 2007 tragedy, Saawariya) born 1982

29 Sept – Bill Shankly (Legendary manger of Liverpool F.C for 15 years who won the Manager of the Year award in 1973; inaugural inductee of both the English and Scottish Football Hall of Fames) born 1913 – 1981

30 Sept – Reema Khan (Leading Pakistani actress, director and producer. Appeared in films such as Hina and Samina Peerzada’s Shararat ) born 1971


At times, we all need to talk about certain issues and problems that are affecting us. Whether we feel we have an embarrassing medical condition, trying to overcome an addiction or a relationship with our partner that is causing family commotion, Aunty Ji is here to advise you. Whether or not you take my advice on board, I will advise you as to the best of my knowledge and life experience. All letters sent in will remain totally anonymous and I will try to answer as many as I can. Aunty Jee is here for you!




Mini is without doubt the master at creating a plethora of models from a single platform, so it’s no surprise to see a concept version of the Clubman estate based on the latest Mk3 Mini underpinnings. Up front the Clubman has the same deeply sloping headlights and elongated bonnet as the Mk3 hatch, but it has two rear doors and a markedly different rear end. Instead of the single rear-hinged suicide door of the previous Clubman, the concept has two forward-hinged doors, making it a much more practical proposition. Not everything is new though, there are still two single, barn-style doors giving access to the boot, which is around 100 litres bigger than before. The new model is 26cm longer, 17cm wider and slightly taller than before, making the Clubman larger than the Countryman SUV. Inside, the driver is presented with a sophisticated electronic dash that apparently showcases the design of future models. But again there is a nod to the past – the centerpiece of the dash is the traditional large round dial. A true VW Golf rival, it’s the first Mini with enough space for five passengers. And with an estimated 360 litres of boot space, it should also be able to swallow all their kit. But for many people it’ll be the Mini Clubman’s looks that draw them into the showroom. And, as a more useable evolution of the previous model, the new Clubman will be far less of a compromise to live with. The Clubman is expected to be offered with the same engines as the Mk3 Mini hatch. That means a choice of three-cylinder 1.5 and four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol and diesel units. A six speed manual transmission will be offered as standard, with a six-speed auto an optional extra. We expect to see a production version of the Clubman estate later in 2014, prior to a UK launch in early 2015. Estimated price: £16,995



This new Mercedes is a medium-size luxury saloon that competes head-on with the very popular BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Mercedes has slotted the new CLA saloon beneath the C-class in its range, so the new C-class is now significantly longer than its predecessor. However, Mercedes has slashed weight by up to 100kg. Thanks to an extra 8cm between the wheels, the interior should offer more space for passengers in the back, plus a bigger boot. The C-class is available in three specification levels – SE, Sport and AMG Line. Sport features 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, lowered suspension and satnav as standard. AMG Line models gain 18-inch wheels, firmer sports suspension and a soft-touch dashboard. We praised the previous C-class for its luxury and the new model looks set to build on this with a long list of standard equipment. All models have a touchpad to control the entertainment functions, along with a seven-inch colour display that incorporates a reversing camera. Other toys include automatic wipers, cruise control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and plenty of safety kit. Leather-effect upholstery and two-zone air conditioning also feature in all models. From launch, the C-class will be available with 1.9-litre petrol and 2.1-litre diesel engines – both with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. A further three engines, including a hybrid version, should arrive before the end of the year. Estimated price: Starting at £26,855 for the C200 petrol. The C220 Blue Tec diesel is available from just over £29,000.



This is the all-new Ford Mustang. It goes on sale in the UK from spring 2015 and for the first time this iconic American muscle car is being designed and engineered to match our tastes, and will be available with right-hand drive. Being polished for Europe has meant a lot of changes, and quality has been greatly improved over the outgoing version. There’s also a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine and far more sophisticated rear suspension, instead of the cruder set-ups we’ve seen before. Sitting in a Ford Mustang has always felt special. The good news is that’s still the case, but now most of what you see and touch is of a much higher quality. There are areas where an Audi A5 or BMW 4 Series feel classier, such as plastics shrouding the central tunnel where your arm rests, but most of the materials look and feel of a high standard. You sit low in the car, making that long bonnet feel even longer, and seeing out and over your shoulder shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re really short of stature. Most of the major functions are taken care of via a large central touch-screen or rotary controls. There’s also a pleasing nod to the past: the drive modes (normal, sport, track or wet) are operated with toggle switches. Space is marginally better than in the outgoing model, with everyone getting a mite more knee room and shoulder space. It’s still not the easiest car to climb into the back of, but once you’re in its comfortable enough. Both the coupé and convertible are capable of carrying four adults. If you opt for the soft-top the cloth roof is now easier and quicker to lower; it takes only seven seconds for the powered hood to go up or down, and it looks a lot tidier than before when it’s down. It’s disappointing, though, that you still have to unlock a latch to start the process – you don’t need to do this in most rivals. Ford is tight-lipped about pricing. However, while the Mustang is a bargain-basement option in America – starting at less than £20,000 – our best guess is that prices will start at around £30,000. You can, at least, expect it to be fulsomely equipped, with the new infotainment system being standard. Unlike previous Mustangs there will also be a large range of interior colours and trims for both cloth and leather options. On looks alone the Mustang deserves to sell, but whether UK buyers will be willing to jump out of their Audis and BMWs for it is a different matter altogether. We’ll find out in early 2015