Susan Taylor

Susan is our fearless reporter who loves nothing better than getting behind the wheel of a brand new motor to tell our readers at Cars for Stars News all about the experience. If you have any suggestions about new models you’d like Susan to review, please get in touch.

Hasselhoff kicks off in style at Gumball 3000

David Hasselhoff was among many celebrities that got behind the wheels to participate in this year’s Gumball 3000 Rally. The Baywatch star, along with rapper Eve and the star of British TV show Dirty Sanchez Matthew Pritchard, were among a number of stars who took to the wheels to compete in the famous 3000 mile race.

Kicking off in New York’s Times Square, the 120 cars headed from the Big Apple to Los Angeles, aiming to complete the drive by 31 May.

Hasselhoff and his black Maserati were a crowd favourite, as he posed with fans before the big kick-off. He later shared a photo of himself and his car to followers on micro-blogging site Twitter. The caption of the photo read: “Gumball is on! Look out for car number 2! Team hoffballer gumball300 (sic)”

Gumball 3000, the annual international British rally that chooses a different public route around the world each year, is a paradise for high-end, powerful, exclusive sports cars. This year’s rally will travel through Toronto, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Santa Fe, and Las Vegas. The 120 cars will also stop at the Niagara Falls, Indianapolis 500, Detroit, St Louis, Route 66, the Grand Canyon and Death Valley.


Limited edition Ferrari Enzo abandoned in Dubai as owner was in debt

A limited edition Ferrari Enzo, believed to be worth an eye watering £1 million, was left in a Dubai car park for 20 months after the owner ran up debts in unpaid traffic fines. The rare Ferrari was impounded by Dubai police last June after the supercar was found abandoned in a car park covered in dust.

The highly sought after Ferrari, one of only 399 in existence, will go on sale as part of a police auction in the Middle East this week along with 23 other luxury vehicles. In addition to the Ferrari Enzo, other high end cars due to be auctioned off by the authorities this week include three other Ferraris, seven Porsche sports cars, a number of BMW, Mercedes and Dodge vehicles amongst others.

It’s understood that the owner of the supercar cut his or her losses and fled the country without the vehicle after running up debts in unpaid traffic fines on the vehicle. Abandoning vehicles, even high end luxury cars such as the rare Ferrari, is not uncommon in Dubai as it is illegal to be in debt in the country. As a result, many expats choose to skip the country and avoid jail or prosecution.

The Ferrari Enzo is thought to be the most expensive vehicle ever to be put up for auction by the authorities. As one of the top 10 fastest road cars in the world, with a 0-60mph rate of 3.4 seconds, there’s a high chance this supercar with spark a bidding war when it goes under the hammer this week.


Free chauffeur rides for Londoners to celebrate launch of HP Ultrabook

HP are offering Londoners living in Zone 1 and Zone 2 the chance to enjoy a free chauffeur driven ride in one of their branded Mercedes people carriers and also experience their latest product, the HP ENVY 14 Spectre Ultrabook, while they’re chauffeured around the capital.

The free chauffeur rides are being offered for the next two weeks on week days only, starting from Monday April 16th, with a number of collection locations set up in Central London. A fleet of blacked out Mercedes people carriers bearing the HP branding are whisking through the city giving London commuters a free ride and a chance to trial their latest device.

It’s a novel way to introduce potential customers to HP’s new product as people who may not normally go into a shop to view a new electronic device from HP, will however be happy to accept a free chauffeur driven ride from the company’s HP Spectre Shuttle, while at the same time being given an introduction to the new Ultrabook.

The Mercedes vehicles are all driven by professional chauffeurs and those making use of the free travel can be dropped off at the address of their choice, anywhere in Zone 1 or Zone 2 of London. The chauffeur driven vehicles are all fully kitted out with onboard Wi-Fi so passengers will have the chance to fully test drive the HP Ultrabook during their free chauffeur trip.


Traveller lotto winner splashes his winning on luxury cars

A traveller whose daughter featured on the latest series of the Channel 4 documentary, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, is celebrating after scooping the jackpot on the National Lottery.

Father of four, Jason Stanley, won £1 million after matching his numbers in a lottery draw in February. The horse trader wasted no time in getting in hands on the cheque, spending £200,000 on a Bentley convertible.

The lotto winner’s daughter, Angel, appeared in the Channel 4 documentary earlier this year. The 13-year-old is bucking the trend in the traveller community as she continues to attend school, while many of her contemporaries on the traveller site where she lives opt out of school before they begin secondary education.

Speaking in a newspaper interview following her father’s lottery win, Angel says she’s waiting for her father to treat her after her brother, Alfie, was given a white Mercedes sports car worth £50,000. However the teenager’s expectations are slightly lower as she revealed she’d really like some new designer clothes to wear at the traveller event of the year, Appleby Horse Fair, and also some money to put in the bank.

The first purchase Jason Stanley made was a midnight blue state of the art Bentley which was estimated to be worth £200,000, followed by a second luxury car, a Mercedes Coupé for his 17-year-old son – not bad for a first car!


Going out in style – Introducing the Rolls Royce Phantom hearse

Want to travel in style and luxury even after you’ve shuffled off this mortal coil? Then coachbuilders, Biemme Special Cars, probably had you in mind when they came up with the design for the world’s most luxurious hearse.

The Rolls Royce Phantom Hearse will receive its official debut at the Tan Expo in Bologna, Italy where the 23 foot long Roller will be showcased to its full glory. The customised Rolls Royce benefits from a raised roof and elongated shape so as to allow the transportation of coffins of all sizes. It’s believed to be the longest hearse in existence at 7 metres in length, 3 metres longer than the average Phantom model.

While the Rolls Royce Phantom hearse B12 looks like an overgrown Phantom from the outside, under the bonnet it is a standard Phantom ll model with a 6.75 litre V12 engine. The customised hearse also benefits from specially created coach hung rear doors, and the trademark Rolls Royce grill complete with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy sitting on the front of the bonnet.

However, this luxurious hearse does come with a hefty price tag, an eye-watering £418,000 to be exact. Do you think this new standard of premium hearses will catch on with undertakers across the world? Is there a demand for luxury hearses? Let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment below.


Is this the world’s most extravagant Rolls Royce Phantom?

A Rolls Royce Phantom decked out with £3 million of gold? We’d call that pretty extravagant! Well that’s exactly what one wealthy middle Eastern based businessman has used to customise his top of the range Rolls Royce limo, waiting a whole 18 months for the transformation to be completed.

The anonymous owner commissioned the services of Liverpool based designer, Stuart Hughes, to help realise his dream of owning a car decked inside and out with solid gold trimmings. The British designer is famous for using gold to customise luxury items having used the precious metal to create one-off iPad and iPod covers amongst other things.

120kg of 18 carat solid gold with a total cost of £3 million was used to create moulds of all the interior fixtures and trims, as well as the trimming on the exterior of the luxury limo.

As well as being blinged-up-to-the-max, the highly customised white Roller is also indestructible. The Rolls Royce has been strengthened to withstand hits from no less than two hand grenades and also 570 rounds fired from an AK-47 rifle.

While a regular Rolls Royce Phantom has a price tag in the region of £330,000, after the extra bullet proof additions and gold plating features added to this Roller, the cost of this one-of-a-kind Phantom is thought to be a cool £5.2 million.


The (new) Rolls Royce Phantom Series ll makes debut at 2012 Geneva Motor Show

Rolls Royce has updated their luxury Phantom model. As the renowned car maker’s flagship model, the Phantom is arguable the most sought after vehicle offered by Rolls Royce, and so any changes to this popular model are likely to come under great scrutiny from Phantom fans and motoring experts alike.

The Rolls Royce Phantom Series ll made its official debut at the recent 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The new family of Phantom models will offer a raft of exciting and highly innovative improvements in order to offer a premium vehicle which is as much fun to drive as it is to be chauffeured in.

For the first time on a production car, the Phantom ll models will feature full LED headlights as standard, the new and improved Phantoms also feature a restyled front end and rear bumper. The new Phantoms also offer greater driver assistance with the introduction of all new media controller which boasts an integrated satellite navigation system with 3D topographic mapping.

All information, maps and videos are displayed on the car’s 8.8inch control centre screen display. The Phantom ll series models boast cameras to enable the driver to manoeuvre with ease as the rear view camera automatically flashes up on the screen display when reversing.

A brand new 8-speed automatic gearbox has also been unveiled on the new improved Phantom, designed specifically to complement the V12 direct injection engine which offers an improved fuel consumption of 10% compared to the previous model.

Pricing for the all new Phantom ll series are not yet available.


Lamborghini unveil windowless and roofless supercar

Lamborghini have this week unveiled their wackiest creation to date; a state of the art supercar with no windows, windscreen or roof. Despite the lack of essential details such as roof and windows, the sleek sports car still commands a hefty financial investment with a price tag of a cool £1.75 million.

The Lamborghini Aventador J was officially unveiled at this week’s Geneva International Motor Show to an eager audience of journalists and motoring enthusiasts. The one-off vehicle is described as a piece of art, with the advantage of also being a road legal race car.

While no official figures and statistics have been released by Lamborghini on the Aventador J’s on-the-road performance, it’s estimated that the 6.5 litre V12 engine will have the ability to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds and has a top speed of 200mph.

Lamborghini chief executive, Stephen Winkelmann, described the new Aventdaor J model as the “most radical” sports car to ever be produced by the luxury car manufacturer. The model is the first automobile to feature “carbonskin”, a special type of carbon fibre material which will fit to any type or shape of fabric. In addition, the exclusive sports car also has its very own shade of paint work, an intense red colour complete with chrome effect.

The bosses at Lamborghini have confirmed that this will remain the only vehicle of its kind as there are no plans to create another prototype or altered version for display purposes, so whoever gets their hands on the £1.75 million windowless Lamborghini, really will have a truly exclusive motor in their garage.


Mercedes to introduce iPhone’s Siri to future A-Class models

Luxury car manufacturer, Mercedes Benz, has unveiled plans to introduce iPhone’s personal assistant, Siri, to its future A-Class models. With the use of a brand new app developed by Mercedes, drivers will be able to access the range of features on their iPhones on the in-car display, making is safe and convenient to request directions, compose text messages and change radio station using voice commands.

Mercedes plan to offer access to Apple’s Siri on their full range of city cars. Currently, Siri is exclusive to the iPhone 4S. To enjoy the full range of future benefits from the Mercedes and Siri connection, drivers will need to link up their car and phone by installing the Drive Kit Plus app on their iPhone.

Once the phone and car are linked, the driver will be able to control and access the range of features on the mobile from the in-car dash display with a control centre located on the armrest for easy access. Using Apple’s Siri personal assistant, drivers will have the freedom to make and receive phone calls, compose and send text messages, change radio stations and search for directions using the voice activated controls.

In addition to the link up with Siri and Apple technology, Mercedes have revealed further plans to develop mobile platforms with the launch of new applications. Two new future apps confirmed by Mercedes include a new Parking Finder app and the MorningStar Finance app which will have access to stock prices.


Elton John’s Jaguar sports car to go under the hammer

Elton John’s vintage jaguar sports car will go under the hammer next week with a guide price of between £50,000-£70,000 set on the vintage vehicle.

The red sports car was first bought by the flamboyant star back in 1987 and the singer’s mark is still imprinted on the Jag as it still bears the personalised number plate “OKE1” which stands for “OK Elton”.

The Rocket Man singer eventually sold the Jaguar E-Type back in 2001 at Christies Auction organised by himself, with the vehicle fetching £81,000. However the new owner looks set to make a loss on the vehicle when it goes to auction next week as the auctioneers have placed a guide price of between £50,000 – £70,000 on the sports car, meaning that even if it sells for the highest estimate, the current owner will be looking at making a £11,000 loss on the car.

The 1965 E-Type has a top speed of 150mph boasting a 4.2 litre 6 cylinder engine and was one of fastest cars of the 60’s. Finished in racing car red with a black leather interior and chromed wire wheels and described as being in a very good condition, the E-Type is likely to generate a great deal of interest when it goes to under the hammer on March 3rd at Bonhams Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobila Sale in Oxford.