The 'last of line' Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph celebrates the end of the marque's residence in Crewe. The final 170 cars will each cost £169,000 - £10,000 more than the standard cars - and feature a duo-tone paintwork scheme, red badging and rare Rosewood Burr wood veneer on the facia. Forty-five are earmarked for the UK.
The Lexus SC430, on sale at £50,850, is a coupe-convertible with a clever Mercedes-style folding hard-top roof, and a 4.3-litre V8 engine. It competes with the £55,350 Jaguar XK8 convertible, Mercedes' £53,290 SL320 and, arguably, the less well-equipped £62,180 Porsche 911 Carrera cabriolet.
Volvo dealers have special offers on all new V70s until September 30. Free, fully-comprehensive insurance is available for the driver and up to four others. Additionally, all V70s ordered over a four-day period in August for September delivery include the first three services free (transferable if the car is sold).
Honda has released prices for the 3dr Civic, on sale from September. Prices start at £10,795 for the 1.4i S, which has aircon, ABS, front and side airbags, rear roof spoiler, central locking and electric windows. The 1.6 S costs £11,495. The 1.6 SE adds electric sunroof and body-coloured mirrors for £11,995, with the £12,995 SE Sport also featuring climate control, leather and Alcantara seats, and a CD player. The Ford Focus range starts at £10,460, and VW Golf at £11,715 - neither is as well-equipped as the British-built Honda.
Mazda took over direct UK distribution on August 1 and announced major price reductions, starting a big “customer-focused” sales push. The biggest cuts include £2,000 off the 626 2.0 GXi (now £13,495) and £1,240 off the Demio 1.5 GSi (now £9,495). The 323 range starts at £10,980, and the entry-level Premacy 1.8 GXi now costs £13,995.
Mercedes-Benz says the revised M-class has more than1,100 modifications, including new bumpers and headlights, a redesigned centre console and a more generous standard spec. Automatic headlamps, side window airbags and an improved electronic four-wheel-drive system all feature. The changes are accompanied by a price increase of around £400-£500, but Mercedes says the extra standard equipment more than compensates for this. The range starts with the £28,795 ML 270 CDI and £31,640 ML 320, and is topped by the £51,040 ML 55 AMG. Revised models go on sale in the autumn. The BMW X5 starts at £33,000 for the faster 3.0, with the entry 3.0d costing £5 more. Both versions have lengthy waiting lists.
Renault has revised Scenic, bringing it into line with the rest of its range. There are three Collections, into which various derivatives are grouped, creating an incredibly confusing choice. All Scenics feature ABS with electronic brake distribution, driver, passenger, lateral and curtain airbags, electric windows and mirrors, six-speaker audio and remote central locking.
Toyota has a third Celica variant, the T Sport. Featuring the same rapid engine as the Celica 190, the T Sport has a number of additional features, including a body kit and unique 17-inch alloy wheels, a full leather interior and six-disc CD autochanger. It costs £23,495, which is £3,000 more than the 190, which may limit UK sales. Even so, it looks strong competition for the £23,895 Audi TT 180bhp Quattro and £24,700 Nissan 200 SX Touring.