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The £175,000 Portofino M is Ferrari’s new everyday supercar

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the 175000 portofino m is ferraris new everyday supercar

Ferrari today launched its first pandemic prancing horse as it took the wraps off its first new 200mph sports car since the coronavirus forced the temporary eight-week shut-down of its legendary factory.

The Portofino M is the iconic Italian brand’s new wind-in the hair grand tourer with a signature retractable hard top roof and a £175,000 asking price.

Dubbed an everyday supercar, it is essentially two cars in one: a beautifully streamlined sporting ‘berlinetta’ coupe and a rakishly gorgeous convertible drop-top spider combining the romance of the open road with the undoubted thrill of the chase.

Ferrari's first pandemic launch: This is the new Portofino M, which is the legendary Italian car maker's new 'everyday supercar'

Ferrari’s first pandemic launch: This is the new Portofino M, which is the legendary Italian car maker’s new ‘everyday supercar’

It is named after the exclusive, glamorous and elegantly upmarket seaside resort of Portofino on the Italian Riviera. Order books are open now with first deliveries early in the New Year.

The Portofino M’s additional letter ‘M’ stands for ‘Modificata’, which Ferrari explains ‘refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has boosted their performance’. Or in more prosaic parlance, it’s a refreshed, upgraded and face-lifted version of its older sibling with more efficient and cleaner engines.

As well as a sportier visual make-over, the new Portofino M includes an upgraded 620 horsepower 3.9-litre V8 turbo motor (up 20 horsepower on its predecessor), a new 5-position ‘Manettino’ drive-mode selector now with Race mode added to boost performance, and a new 8-speed F1 dual-clutch gearbox (up from seven previously).

That will propel it to a top speed in excess of 200mph with acceleration from rest to 62mph in just 3.45 seconds (0.05 seconds faster than its predecessor at launch) and up to 124mph in 9.8 seconds (one second faster). It promises ‘instantaneous throttle response throughout the rev range’ and ‘zero turbo lag’.

The price will rise too, costing from around £175,000 compared to the £168,500 when the first Portofino hit the road.

But Ferrari says customers typically spend a further 15 per cent on those little must-have extras, pushing the final batting average cost to nearer £200,000.

Ferrari said: ‘In a move unprecedented in the Maranello marque’s 70-year-plus history, the new car’s premiere took place entirely online.

‘Significantly, the Portofino M is the first Ferrari to be presented in the wake of the company’s temporary closure due to the Covid-19 crisis, making it the symbol of a voyage of rediscovery. It is the (re)starting point for Prancing Horse’s pursuit of innovation.’

Of the new car it said: ‘The Portofino M bursts with innovations that boost its extreme versatility and the pleasure of open air driving. 

‘There is no shortage of technical innovation in this stunning new evolution of the Ferrari Portofino, the most notable being its redesigned powertrain, a brand-new eight-speed gearbox and a five-position Manettino that includes a Race mode, an absolute first for a Maranello GT spider.

‘As a consequence of these and many other new features, the Portofino M guarantees a completely unprecedented combination of authentic GT performance, driving pleasure, agility and exceptional versatility in everyday driving’.

It is essentially two cars in one: a beautifully streamlined sporting 'berlinetta' coupe and a rakishly gorgeous convertible drop-top spider combining the romance of the open road with the undoubted thrill of the chase

It is essentially two cars in one: a beautifully streamlined sporting ‘berlinetta’ coupe and a rakishly gorgeous convertible drop-top spider combining the romance of the open road with the undoubted thrill of the chase

Inside, drivers will get a squared-off sports steering wheel, a yellow-backed digital dial and wide-screen infotainment display

Inside, drivers will get a squared-off sports steering wheel, a yellow-backed digital dial and wide-screen infotainment display

The extra 20 horsepower for the Portofino M’s 3.9-litre engine further enhances Ferrari’s V8 turbo family voted ‘International Engine of the Year’ on four consecutive occasions.   

Braking has been improved, too – with a 10 per cent reduction in pedal travel – to make it more precise and responsive.

While there are four exhausts, two of these silencers are fakes. Ferrari says they have been ‘eliminated’ to improve the ‘soundtrack’ of the car.

The car’s exterior styling has also been given a face-lift to underscore its more dynamic performance, with a newly designed aggressive front bumper and a reworked rear diffuser that’s now separate from the bumper, allowing customers to specify a carbon fibre version.

The Portofino M is named after the exclusive, glamorous and elegantly upmarket seaside resort on the Italian Riviera

The Portofino M is named after the exclusive, glamorous and elegantly upmarket seaside resort on the Italian Riviera

As a traditional 2-plus-2 GT, there are two roomy and potentially romantic high-backed seats up front for driver and passenger – plus space at a squeeze in the back for two more passengers or young family members in the bucket seats for short distances. There are Isofix fittings for child-seats.

Will it fit in my garage? 

New Ferrari Portofino M

Price: circa £175,000

On sale: now

First deliveries: early 2021

Seats: 2 plus 2

Length: 4594 mm 

Width inc mirrors: 2020 mm

Height: 1318 mm

Wheelbase: 2670 mm

Kerb weight: 1,664kg

Dry weight: 1545 kg 

Engine: 3.9-litre V8 turbo

Power: 620 horsepower (up 20 horse-power)

Gears: 8-speed F1 dual clutch 

Top speed: 200mph-plus

0 to 62mph: 3.45 seconds (0.5 seconds faster)

0-124mph: 9.8 seconds (1 second faster)

Boot capacity: 292 litres

Fuel tank capacity: 80 litres

Fuel consumption: TBC (but an improvement)

CO2 emissions: TBC (but an improvement)

The sports car firm says: ‘Both inside and out, there is a sense of harmony of expression and intent in forms that are sometimes sharper and then softer and more flowing.’

‘Sportier in character than its predecessor, it also delivers superior handling whilst not only maintaining but enhancing on-board comfort.’

New optional features include a host of optional advanced driver assistance aids – from blind spot monitoring to adaptive cruise control and 3D surround view – and ventilated and heated seats.

Although no official fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures for the Portofino M have yet been released, the previous model averaged 26,4mpg and 245g/km CO2 emissions. 

But the new car gains a gasoline particulate filter so that it can ‘comply with the strictest pollution emissions standards.’ 

Improvements in transmission efficiency with the 8-speed transmission also means ‘a significant reduction in fuel consumption in urban and motorway contexts’ as well as sportier performance. 

Ferrari’s Maranello factory was shut down for eight weeks during March and April, re-starting production from May 4 after staff were given a week of in-house training on manufacturing cars under Covid-compliant safety measures.

The original Portofino was the replacement for the California T which in turn followed the original Ferrari California which was sold from 2008 to 2014. 

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Volkswagen ID.4: 10 things you need to know about the electric SUV

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volkswagen id 4 10 things you need to know about the electric suv

After months of anticipation – and leaked images – Volkswagen has finally unveiled its first ever electric SUV, the ID.4.

The family-size motor becomes the second model in VW’s electric-dedicated ID range, following the recent arrival of the ID.3 in the UK earlier this month, and is one of 75 battery-powered models the German brand has promised to launch by 2029 as part of its ongoing volt-backed effort to repair its reputation after the Dieselgate scandal.

Two limited-edition launch models – restricted to a total of 27,000 units – will be on sale before the end of the year, with prices starting from €49,950, so around £46,000 in the UK (though prices and specs aren’t yet confirmed).

We’ve identified 10 things we think you need to know about the car that is almost certain to become one of the most in-demand electric models of the next 12 months…

Can we see your ID? This is highly anticipated Volkswagen ID.4 - the German brand's first ever fully-electric family SUV

Can we see your ID? This is highly anticipated Volkswagen ID.4 - the German brand's first ever fully-electric family SUV

Can we see your ID? This is highly anticipated Volkswagen ID.4 – the German brand’s first ever fully-electric family SUV

The ID.4 is one of the most eagerly awaited electric models to hit the market, jointly due to the features and driving range it posses and the months of leading to its unveiling, which included a series of leaked images of the new plug-in VW

The ID.4 is one of the most eagerly awaited electric models to hit the market, jointly due to the features and driving range it posses and the months of leading to its unveiling, which included a series of leaked images of the new plug-in VW

The ID.4 is one of the most eagerly awaited electric models to hit the market, jointly due to the features and driving range it posses and the months of leading to its unveiling, which included a series of leaked images of the new plug-in VW

1. Only the Tesla Model 3 and Model S will go further on a full charge

There will be just two versions available from launch: the ID.4 1st and ID.4 1st Max – as revealed in a selection of accidentally leaked images from a Chinese Government website earlier this year

Both use the 77kWh battery from the rangiest of the ID.3 line-up, which sends power to the rear wheels via an electric motor close to the rear axle.

Linked to a one-speed gearbox, acceleration is swift – as you would expect from all electric vehicles.

The electric cars with the longest ranges 

Want to know which current battery electric cars have the claimed longest driving distances on a full charge?

This is Money revealed the top 10 models currently on sale in the UK.

Read our top 10 guide here. 

With their right foot planted, drivers will hit a speed of 62mph in just 8.5 seconds and can hit a limited top speed of 99mph flat out.

A top-of-the-range model with even more power and all-wheel drive is set to follow in 2021. while entry-level ID.4s will feature a smaller battery pack and power outputs of either 146bhp or 168bhp. 

But it’s arguably the driving range that’s the most important performance figure for EV buyers – and the SUV doesn’t disappoint.

VW claims it will do 520 kilometres on a full charge, which equates to 323 miles – enough to drive from London to Newcastle-upon-Tyne with battery capacity in supply.

Only two electric cars on sale today can beat that figure, and both are Teslas. 

The Model 3 Performance (329 miles) and Long Range (348 miles) narrowly beat the ID.4, while the Tesla Model S remains well ahead in the repeated specifications (367 miles from the Performance, 377 miles for the Long Range and over 520 miles for the 2021 Plaid).

That said, the Model 3 is a much smaller vehicle – though comparatively priced to the VW – while the Model S will set you back almost double the amount than a launch-edition ID.4. In terms of sub-£50,000 electric family cars, the VW is at the top of the list.

Entry-spec ID.4s available from next year will have a shorter range of 224 miles on a single charge. 

Permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) located just ahead of the rear axle is powered by a 77kWh battery stored in the chassis floor. This means the cabin has a flat floor and loads of interior space. The battery will retain 70% capacity after 8 years, says VW

Permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) located just ahead of the rear axle is powered by a 77kWh battery stored in the chassis floor. This means the cabin has a flat floor and loads of interior space. The battery will retain 70% capacity after 8 years, says VW

Permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) located just ahead of the rear axle is powered by a 77kWh battery stored in the chassis floor. This means the cabin has a flat floor and loads of interior space. The battery will retain 70% capacity after 8 years, says VW

2. It has a guarantee of retaining 70% battery capacity after 8 years or 100,000 miles

Volkswagen has gone to great lengths to ensure the safety and durability of its 77kWh battery.

The unit, which weighs a massive 493kg – which is almost as much as a classic Mini – has an aluminium housing  and is protected by a strong frame and a base plate with integrated water channels to regulate its temperature. 

Volkswagen guarantees that the battery will still have at least 70 percent of its original capacity after eight years or 100,000 miles of use. 

The battery can support up to 125kW charging, which the UK doesn’t even have the capacity to provide yet. 

However, plug an ID.4 into one of the VW’s partner’s Ionity DC rapid charging stations that is already available and it can replenish the battery with 200 miles of driving range in 30 minutes. 

When the driver unlocks the ID.4, the headlamps swivel in a motion to welcome you - though it will more likely look like the big SUV is rolling its eyes at its owner

When the driver unlocks the ID.4, the headlamps swivel in a motion to welcome you - though it will more likely look like the big SUV is rolling its eyes at its owner

When the driver unlocks the ID.4, the headlamps swivel in a motion to welcome you – though it will more likely look like the big SUV is rolling its eyes at its owner

The rear lights have dynamic indicators that beam in the direction the car is about to move. The brake lights are the 'X'-shape cluster in the middle of the LED arrangement

The rear lights have dynamic indicators that beam in the direction the car is about to move. The brake lights are the 'X'-shape cluster in the middle of the LED arrangement

The rear lights have dynamic indicators that beam in the direction the car is about to move. The brake lights are the ‘X’-shape cluster in the middle of the LED arrangement

3. It rolls its eyes at you when you unlock it

VW has fitted the ID.4 with a raft of new lighting features not yet seen from the German brand.

One of these is the ‘interactive’ IQ Light LED matrix headlights that come as standard on the more expensive 1st Max version, which will cost €59,950 (around £55,000 in the UK, which means it won’t be eligible for the Government’s Plug-in Car Grant that’s capped at £50,000 vehicles). 

When the car is unlocked, the lamps roll their eyes at the driver by ‘swivelling their lens modules’. We’re not sure why, but we like the idea.

Users also won’t have to worry about dazzling other motorists, as the headlights emit ‘intelligently controlled continuous main beam’, which claim to illuminate the road brightly without blinding oncoming traffic.

The 3D LED tail light clusters (also standard in the ID.4 1ST Max) are just as impressive and – as previously seen on the latest Audi models – provide dynamic turn signals, which run from inside to out. The brake lights also glow in the shape of an ‘X’ to warn following driver that you’ve activated the anchors.

Many buyers of big SUVs want them to tow caravans or trailers, which isn't an option with electric cars - until now. However, the ID.4 can only pull an additional weight of 1,000kg

Many buyers of big SUVs want them to tow caravans or trailers, which isn't an option with electric cars - until now. However, the ID.4 can only pull an additional weight of 1,000kg

Many buyers of big SUVs want them to tow caravans or trailers, which isn’t an option with electric cars – until now. However, the ID.4 can only pull an additional weight of 1,000kg

It can tow (but not much)  

There aren’t many electric cars on the market that get the green light to tow, but customers can buy an optional bracket for the ID.4 to allow it to pull a trailer.

However, the weight of the hitched addition can be no bulkier than 1,000kg, as to not dramatically reduce the driving range.

With the rear seats in the upright position, the ID.4 has a capacious 540 litres of loading space
With the backrests laid flat, that expands to a van-like capacity of 1,575 litres
Slide me

With the rear seats in the upright position, the ID.4 has a capacious 540 litres of loading space. With the backrests laid flat, that expands to a van-like capacity of 1,575 litres

5. It betters the Mercedes E-Class for boot space

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a firm favourite with taxi drivers who make their livings predominantly running airport shuttles, not only because it’s comfortable and classy but also due to its 540-litre boot that can swallow a family’s travel luggage.

The ID.4 betters that, with a 543-litre capacity with the rear seat backrests upright. Fold them flat and the electric SUV turns into a zero-emission van with 1,575 litres of loading capacity.

The ID.4 1ST Max also has a power boot lid, which can be opened with a simple foot movement. 

Not a button in sight on the dash: Volkswagen has actively decluttered the dashboard of switches to give the cabin a modern feel

Not a button in sight on the dash: Volkswagen has actively decluttered the dashboard of switches to give the cabin a modern feel

Not a button in sight on the dash: Volkswagen has actively decluttered the dashboard of switches to give the cabin a modern feel

The centre console is there for practical and safety purposes, as it houses the central airbag to prevent the driver and front passenger clashing heads in a side-impact crash

The centre console is there for practical and safety purposes, as it houses the central airbag to prevent the driver and front passenger clashing heads in a side-impact crash

The centre console is there for practical and safety purposes, as it houses the central airbag to prevent the driver and front passenger clashing heads in a side-impact crash

Most of the control functions are on the wheel - finished in a rare tone of white on this example - though can also be activated using voice commands

Most of the control functions are on the wheel - finished in a rare tone of white on this example - though can also be activated using voice commands

Most of the control functions are on the wheel – finished in a rare tone of white on this example – though can also be activated using voice commands

6. The dashboard is a button-free zone

Contemporary design and electric cars seem to go hand-in-hand, and the ID.4 is no different.

To give the cabin a clean and ultra-modern look, VW has eliminated all buttons and switches from the dashboard, leaving just a touchscreen in the central display (10-inches for the ID.4 1st and 12-inch for the 1st Max), which contains all the infotainment features you’d expect, from sat-nav to additional applications. 

The system can be controlled using voice activation, triggered by the phrase: ‘Hello ID’.

The centre console is also decluttered and houses a centre airbag that deploys if there’s a substantial side impact and acts as a cushioned divider to prevent the front seat passenger and driver clattering into each other.

Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition: Will it fit in my garage? 

33491828 8759895 image a 129 1600795878074

33491828 8759895 image a 129 1600795878074

Price: from £46,000 (approx) 

Battery capacity: 77kWh (net)

Electric motor: Permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM) 

Transmission: 1-speed gearbox 

Maximum power: 150kW/201bhp

Maximum torque: 310Nm

Range: 323 miles (520km)  

0-62mph: 8.5 seconds

Top speed: 99mph 

Length: 4,584 mm

Width: 1,852 mm

Height: 1,612 mm

Wheelbase: 2,766 mm 

Luggage compartment capacity: 543-litres (seats up), 1,575 (seats down)

7. It has an augmented reality display and an internal warning beam for the driver

Many premium models come with head-up displays that project vital driving information, such as speed and sat-nav directions, onto the windscreen in the eye-view of the individual at the wheel. 

However, the ID.4’s system (again, only on the top-of-the-line 1st Max) uses augmented reality, meaning the instructions beamed into vision appear to blend into the vehicle’s surroundings.

But that’s not all. All ID.4 models come with something called an ‘ID Light’. This is a single narrow strip that sits just underneath windscreen. 

It’s there as an additional warning system for the driver and passengers onboard, pulsating in different colours to highlight a variety of situations, such as sharp turning or heavy braking. 

You can connect the ID.4 to your smartphone which then links to the public charger infrastructure to tell you which devices are available and which might be out of use

You can connect the ID.4 to your smartphone which then links to the public charger infrastructure to tell you which devices are available and which might be out of use

You can connect the ID.4 to your smartphone which then links to the public charger infrastructure to tell you which devices are available and which might be out of use

8. You’ll never drive to a defective public charge point

All ID.4 SUVs have the We Connect Start service, which links the vehicle to the owner’s smartphone and the traffic infrastructure. 

The package offers navigation services but also provides up-to-date traffic data and details of nearby charging stations. This information includes live updates to tell you if someone else is plugged into the public charge point or if the device is malfunctioning so you can redirect to one that’s available and in full working order.

Customers will have access to a smartphone app that lets them check on the battery capacity of the car when they're not near it, and even pre-set the air conditioning so its nice and cool before you get in

Customers will have access to a smartphone app that lets them check on the battery capacity of the car when they're not near it, and even pre-set the air conditioning so its nice and cool before you get in

Customers will have access to a smartphone app that lets them check on the battery capacity of the car when they’re not near it, and even pre-set the air conditioning so its nice and cool before you get in

9. Get the app and you check the car’s battery status and set the cabin temperature before you get in 

Like another electric car manufacturer we won’t name [Tesla], VW will provide owners with a smartphone app called We Connect ID. 

From their devices, owners can check the battery charge level and vehicle range available as well as set the air conditioning system to a desired temperature before they get in it.

Volkswagen has equipped the ID.4 with two onboard computers. The first controls or the driving functionality and is locked up to keep hackers at bay

Volkswagen has equipped the ID.4 with two onboard computers. The first controls or the driving functionality and is locked up to keep hackers at bay

Volkswagen has equipped the ID.4 with two onboard computers. The first controls or the driving functionality and is locked up to keep hackers at bay

The second computer is dedicated to receiving software updates so all ID.4s can benefit from the latest features and performance enhancements

The second computer is dedicated to receiving software updates so all ID.4s can benefit from the latest features and performance enhancements

The second computer is dedicated to receiving software updates so all ID.4s can benefit from the latest features and performance enhancements

 10. It will take software updates so it won’t become defunct in years to come

One of the biggest current concerns regarding electric car ownership is the rapid rate of development of plug-in vehicles and the fear that models released to the market now will be obsolete in no time at all.

Tesla has avoided this issue with the availability of over-the-air software updates, which can not only add new features but unleash performance and charging capabilities of the batteries fitted to older cars. 

VW has borrowed this concept and fitted the ID.4 with two central high-performance computers.

One of these is the control unit for the driving operations – including accelerating and braking – and remains locked-up at all times to prevent hackers from being able to take control of the vehicle on the move.

The second computer is installed specifically to manage software updates via the mobile network. Data is transferred to the vehicle and installed at the end of a journey so that it is ready to use when the SUV is next started. As a result, many functions can be enhanced on an ongoing basis to ensure your ID.4 doesn’t fall behind the times.

Two limited-edition launch models - the 1st and 1st Max, both restricted to a total of 27,000 units - will be on sale before the end of the year, with prices starting from €49,950, so around £46,000 in the UK

Two limited-edition launch models - the 1st and 1st Max, both restricted to a total of 27,000 units - will be on sale before the end of the year, with prices starting from €49,950, so around £46,000 in the UK

Two limited-edition launch models – the 1st and 1st Max, both restricted to a total of 27,000 units – will be on sale before the end of the year, with prices starting from €49,950, so around £46,000 in the UK

With loads of interior and luggage space, an almost Tesla-matching battery range and prices within the realms of the Plug-in Car Grant, the ID.4 is destined to be an instant hit with eco-conscious family-car buyers

With loads of interior and luggage space, an almost Tesla-matching battery range and prices within the realms of the Plug-in Car Grant, the ID.4 is destined to be an instant hit with eco-conscious family-car buyers

With loads of interior and luggage space, an almost Tesla-matching battery range and prices within the realms of the Plug-in Car Grant, the ID.4 is destined to be an instant hit with eco-conscious family-car buyers

The ID.4 is one of 75 battery-powered models Volkswagen has promised to launch by 2029 as part of its ongoing volt-backed effort to repair its reputation after the Dieselgate scandal

The ID.4 is one of 75 battery-powered models Volkswagen has promised to launch by 2029 as part of its ongoing volt-backed effort to repair its reputation after the Dieselgate scandal

The ID.4 is one of 75 battery-powered models Volkswagen has promised to launch by 2029 as part of its ongoing volt-backed effort to repair its reputation after the Dieselgate scandal

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

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What have been the best-selling funds, trusts and shares since lockdown?

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what have been the best selling funds trusts and shares since lockdown

Star manager Terry Smith’s £21billion Fundsmith Equity was the most bought fund during lockdown, according to new figures.

As today marks six months since the nationwide lockdown was enforced, DIY investing platform AJ Bell Youinvest has revealed the best-selling purchases during this time.

The £14billion Scottish Mortgage investment trust, which is also a FTSE 100 constituent, was the best-selling trust while UK bank Lloyds was the most bought share. 

Terry Smith's £21billion Fundsmith Equity fund has been the best-selling fund since lockdown

Terry Smith's £21billion Fundsmith Equity fund has been the best-selling fund since lockdown

Terry Smith’s £21billion Fundsmith Equity fund has been the best-selling fund since lockdown

Smith’s Fundsmith Equity has always been a firm favourite in the investing world, and has only become more so during lockdown, which has seen a rise in DIY investing.

It fell in size from just under £20billion in February to a low of £15.5billion in the middle of March, when markets were at their most volatile.

It has since recovered, boasting a market cap up to as much as £22billion at the start of September. 

Investors have clambered into funds they considered ‘safe’ due to their global and diversified nature during such an uncertain time.

Since 23 March, the fund has returned almost 30 per cent. 

Fundsmith Equity has grown from around £15billion to £22billion over the past six months

Fundsmith Equity has grown from around £15billion to £22billion over the past six months

Fundsmith Equity has grown from around £15billion to £22billion over the past six months

Meanwhile, Nick Train’s £7.7billion Lindsell Train Global Equity fund was the second best-selling fund, followed by the £5billion Baillie Gifford American fund. 

They have delivered 24.6 per cent and a staggering 101.3 per cent respectively. The top 10 funds have returned an average of 48 per cent over the past six months.

Best-selling funds since lockdown 
Fund  Total return (%)
Fundsmith Equity 28.7
Lindsell Train Global Equity 24.6 
Baillie Gifford American  101.3 
Polar Capital Global Technology  43.6 
Fidelity Index World  31.6 
Baillie Gifford Positive Change  71.3 
Fidelity Global Special Situations   35.1
L&G Global Technology   47
TB Evenlode Income   25.3
Baillie Gifford Global Discovery   72.6
Average total return of top ten  48.10 
Source: AJ Bell Youinvest (23 March – 22 September 2020) 

Baillie Gifford will have enjoyed its Positive Change and Global Discovery funds also featuring among the top 10 best-selling funds over lockdown, as well as its Scottish Mortgage investment trust being the most bought trust since 23 March.

The trust is the biggest in the closed-ended sector at £14billion, and is run by investing stalwarts James Anderson and Tom Slater.

It’s known for being a long-term holder of some of the world’s biggest technology companies such as Amazon, Tencent and Tesla, the latter of which was its top holding and represented 13 per cent of the portfolio in July.

Investors in Scottish Mortgage will have been pleased with a huge 108 per cent return since 23 March.

Other investment trust favourites include Janus Henderson’s City of London investment trust, Polar Capital Technology, Finsbury Growth and Income and Smithson.

The top 10 best-selling trusts have returned an average of 58.3 per cent. 

Best-selling trusts since lockdown 
Trust  Total return (%) 
Scottish Mortgage 108
Scottish Investment Trust 22.2 
City of London 16.1 
Polar Capital Technology 63 
Finsbury Growth & Income 26.7 
Smithson 51.6 
F&C 41.3 
Allianz Technology 85.4 
Monks 70 
Edinburgh Worldwide 98.3 
Average total return of top ten  58.3 
Source: AJ Bell Youinvest (23 March – 22 September 2020) 

Ryan Hughes, head of active portfolios at AJ Bell, said many DIY investors saw the March stock market crash as an opportunity to adjust their portfolios, which is why trading volumes were high at the start of lockdown.

‘But what is really interesting is that the majority of these were people purchasing investments rather than selling them so clearly investors were looking to benefit from depressed prices rather than rushing for the exit,’ he said.

AJ Bell's Hughes said technology has been a dominant theme among fund and trust picks

AJ Bell's Hughes said technology has been a dominant theme among fund and trust picks

AJ Bell’s Hughes said technology has been a dominant theme among fund and trust picks

‘Many of the most popular funds and investment trusts are similar to the ones that were popular before the market crash so investors clearly haven’t shifted their thinking too much and they’ve been well rewarded for keeping faith in these managers as values have bounced back strongly.’

Hughes noted the clear global emphasis coming through among the most popular funds and, to a lesser degree, trusts, with technology being the most dominant theme. 

He added: ‘This has been a good call by these investors as tech stocks have performed extremely well during the pandemic. 

‘The question now for those investors is whether that party is over but with further lockdowns being implemented around the world, technology is still very much going to be at the forefront of people’s lives.’   

What were the best-selling shares?

Alongside interior design, gardening and baking, more Britons have tapped into an undiscovered passion for investing in shares since lockdown.

This is Money spoke to a number of DIY investing platforms to find out how more of the nation became hooked on the stock market while in quarantine.

As for the shares they were buying, financial institutions, energy and aviation companies appeared to lead the way.

The best-selling share, according to AJ Bell, was Lloyds Banking Group, followed by BP, Royal Dutch Shell and International Consolidated Airlines.

All four companies are now down since 23 March, marking losses of 19.3 per cent, 0.8 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 20.5 per cent respectively.

This emphasises how volatile markets have been over the past six months as there have been times when all four companies were delivering exceptional day returns, hence their popularity.   

Big pharma and biomedical firms were also among the most purchased, which is unsurprising given the spotlight currently held over them to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

GlaxoSmithKline was the fifth most-bought share while Avacta Life Sciences came in at seventh and has delivered an eye-watering 832 per cent since lockdown.

The top 10 most purchased shares delivered the highest average return of 94.8 per cent, though Hughes points out that this is heavily skewed by Avacta’s astonishing return.    

Best-selling shares since lockdown 
Share  Total return (%) 
Lloyds -19.3
BP   -0.8
Royal Dutch Shell -3.7 
 International Consolidated Airlines  -20.5
GlaxoSmithKline  12.1
EasyJet  -1.3
Avacta Life Sciences  832
Barclays  9.5
Boohoo  96.8
Legal & General   43.2
Average total return of top ten   94.8
Source: AJ Bell Youinvest (23 March – 22 September 2020) 
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Tesla’s 520-mile range Model S Plaid goes on sale in the UK for £131k

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teslas 520 mile range model s plaid goes on sale in the uk for 131k

British Tesla fans have been offered the chance to buy its new 200mph tri-motor Model S ‘Plaid’ – which will become the electric car with the longest range available from 2021.

Following Tesla Battery Day on Tuesday, the US brand has listed for sale in the UK the new Model S Plaid, with an ‘estimated range’ in excess of 520 miles – beating the Model S Long Range by 141 miles and more. 

It also has a claim ed under 2 second 0 to 60mph time but won’t come cheap, though. The starting price is a whopping £131,000, with first deliveries expected to hit these shores around the end of 2021.

However, one Tesla that probably won’t hit showrooms in the UK is the Cybertruck, with Elon Musk admitting that it is unlikely to be sold outside of the US due to safety regulations and the vehicle’s size.

Tesla's 520-mile electric family car for 2021: Britons can already order the Model S Plaid on the firm's UK website

Tesla’s 520-mile electric family car for 2021: Britons can already order the Model S Plaid on the firm’s UK website

The Tesla site confirms the price of the tri-motor Model S and the estimated first deliveries arriving in late 2021

The Tesla site confirms the price of the tri-motor Model S and the estimated first deliveries arriving in late 2021

The Model S Plaid will take on the might of the Porsche Taycan and also cement the Tesla brand as the rangiest electric car maker on the planet. 

It will be powered by the firm’s most potent three-motor electric powertrain – which delivers a claimed output of 1,100bhp.

While no exact performance figures have been revealed, Tesla’s UK ordering website states that a sprint from zero to 60mph will take less than two seconds – claiming the fastest ‘acceleration of any production car ever’ and it says the top speed will be 200mph.

It also states an ‘estimated range’ of ‘520+ miles’. 

How does that compare to Porsche’s battery-powered sports car?

The longest range for the three versions of the Taycan is the mid-spec Turbo, with a 281-mile distance from a full charge.

The Turbo S – with both Turbo and Turbo S not having turbochargers at all but named in such a way for consistency with Porsche’s petrol car line-up – is the quickest to 62mph, taking 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of 162mph.

That means the Model S Plaid will be far and away the highest-performing plug-in car the market has seen yet – though fans will need to wait over a year to get their hands on one, and significantly empty their savings.

Elon Musk pictured during Tesla's Battery Day, held on 22 September and used to promote new advances in EV technology currently being developed by the manufacturer

Elon Musk pictured during Tesla’s Battery Day, held on 22 September and used to promote new advances in EV technology currently being developed by the manufacturer

Elon Musk wants to dethrone the Porsche Taycan and take its claim as being the fastest production electric car with four doors

Elon Musk wants to dethrone the Porsche Taycan and take its claim as being the fastest production electric car with four doors

That’s because the UK website says first deliveries won’t arrive until the ‘late 2021’ and the price is an eye-popping £130,980 – which is likely to shift significantly due to changing exchange rates between now and the end of next year, especially with Brexit taking hold in this period.

That makes the Plaid £38,000 more expensive than the next priciest Model S, the Performance (£92,980) and £33,000 more than the most expensive Tesla on sale to date, the £97,980 Model X Performance.

Tesla has confirmed that the Model S Plaid will feature a few specification changes to cope with the additional performance.

It will be fitted with wider wheels and tyres, flared wheel arches, a new front splitter, a large rear spoiler and a race-car-like rear diffuser. 

To help slow the hefty – but rapid – car down, the US brand will also equip it with more potent brakes and a revised suspension setup.

To welcome the new arrival on its Tesla Battery Day, the US car maker released the much-talked-about footage of the Model S Plaid lapping the Laguna Seca race track in America.

In a video posted to Twitter, it shows the electric car completing a lap in one minute and 30 seconds.

To put that in context, the current lap record at the circuit was posted last year in the £750,000 McLaren Senna , which posted a time of 1:27:62.

Elon Musk hopes the Model S Plaid – in the right hands – can shave three seconds off its best time to eclipse the lap of the limited-edition McLaren supercar. 

This will be part of a concerted effort by Musk for the Model S to knock the Taycan off its pedestal, with Porsche claiming it is the world’s ‘fastest four-door, all-electric sports car’, having recorded blistering laps at the California circuit and the Nurburgring – which is widely used by manufacturers to stake a claim to records for its super-fast road cars.

Tesla’s Model S Plaid has – in pre-production form – lapped the German circuit in a reported 7 minutes and 20 seconds, which shaves some 20 seconds off the Taycan’s time. However, no official lap time has yet to be posted by Tesla.

Elon Musk has conceded that the Cybertruck is unlikely to be sold outside of the US due to the need to meet regulations for other markets - a feat described as 'impossible', despite many other manufacturers producing cars that are sold in the same form globally

Elon Musk has conceded that the Cybertruck is unlikely to be sold outside of the US due to the need to meet regulations for other markets – a feat described as ‘impossible’, despite many other manufacturers producing cars that are sold in the same form globally

Tesla Model S Plaid is coming, but Cybertruck isn’t…

While a 520-mile-plus Model S is guaranteed to hit the UK market in around 12 months’ time, Elon Musk’s controversial Cybertruck won’t be doing the same.

We’ll probably make an international version of Cybertruck that will be kinda smaller, kind of like a tight Wolverine package 
Elon Musk 

Serious questions have been raised about the crash safety credentials of an angular-shaped pick-up with a stainless-steel body, especially the damage it could cause to pedestrians.

Critics have also said the enormous dimensions of the truck will be unfit for UK roads and any highways narrower than those used for US routes. 

And it seems these concerns were well founded, with Tesla’s star founder downplaying the availability of Cybertruck outside of America, if it does go into production. 

Tesla Battery Day: What else was announced? 

 – The annual Tesla Battery Day took place on 22 September 2020, having originally been planned for 15 September but pushed back by Musk.

– The firm confirmed plans for a more affordable electric model from the company, which would be priced from $25,000 (around £19,700 in the UK), but it would not be available for another three years.

– The affordable EV’s delay is due to the development of new cylindrical battery technology needed for the car to take shape. Lighter and more efficient, the batteries would be produced in-house by Tesla, thus negating the need for external suppliers such as Panasonic and LG, which would help bring vehicle costs down. 

– Tesla also announced a landmark for its charging infrastructure, confirming that its network of Superchargers now spans over 17,000 units worldwide.

Speaking at a Q&A session during his firm’s Battery Day, Musk conceded that it would be difficult for the wedge-shaped vehicle to meet vehicle regulations elsewhere to the US market. 

‘We are designing the Cybertruck to meet the American spec. If you try to design a car to meet the set of all global requirements, you can’t make the Cybertruck. It’s impossible,’ he said. 

When Cybertruck was first shown in November last year, This is Money said the vehicle would not be fit for purpose, suggesting the design would need to be completely overhauled in order for it to meeting stringent EU regulations. You can read our opinion piece here.

Musk went on to suggest that a smaller version of the humongous pick-up could be created for other markets.

‘We’ll probably make an international version of Cybertruck that will be kinda smaller, kind of like a tight Wolverine package’, Musk said. 

Wolverine is a name given to the heavy-lifting robots at Tesla’s factory in California, which is – of course – named after the X-Men comic-book character. 

Speaking yesterday, Musk claimed the brand has taken ‘over half a million orders’  for Cybertruck so far, though by the term ‘order’ it is referring to a $100 refundable deposit customers will get back if Cybertruck fails to ever surface.

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