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British car makers don't do 'entry level' like other brands

This century has been very good to British car makers thus far, and the 2014 New York International Auto Show indicates that the winning streak is continuing. In a splashy pre-show reveal that stole all the thunder in the area (and then some), Land Rover unveiled the Discovery Vision Concept on an aircraft carrier. The SUV is earmarked to replace the current LR4.

A day later, Aston Martin entered the fray by announcing a race-inspired, slightly stripped-down version of the Vantage coupe and roadster, labelled the V8 Vantage GT. Armed with a 4.7-litre V8, this latest Vantage promises 430 horsepower (the same as the V8 S), a top speed of 305 km/h and a starting price of just $99,900 (U.S.). The car also features aerodynamics, sports suspension and braking systems derived from the brand's involvement in GT racing around the world.

Over at Bentley , the lads from Crewe pulled the covers off the Flying Spur V8, an addition to the fleet that is also designed to make the brand more accessible. The existing Flying Spur is an immensely enjoyable luxury sedan powered by a twin-turbocharged W12 engine; this new version features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 developed by corporate cousins Audi. As with the W12 model, the Flying Spur V8 features an 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

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Mark Bramley

First unleashed at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II is enjoying its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. A minor variation on the staunchly British brand's "entry-level" sedan, the exterior styling has been bolstered by re-sculpted LED lights and a "wake channel" on the hood that's intended to mimic the vapour trails of a jet.

The North American market is vitally important for Rolls-Royce, so the new Ghost will have a big role to play. In New York, company representatives expressed the need for stable sales to offset the current strife in Russia, the surprising lack of growth in India and the political challenges of doing business in China.

Review: What it's like to drive the fastest Rolls-Royce ever


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