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  2. The new Mercedes-AMG GT is scheduled to reach UK showrooms in early 2022 Future Porsche 911 rival will push more than 650bhp and 700lb ft to all four wheels in top-end guise Mercedes-AMG is well into the development of a second-generation GT, which is due on sale in 2021 with a hybrid powertrain that will offer increased power and torque. The next iteration of AMG’s supercar will adopt a revised twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine with new mild-hybrid assistance, as well as a transaxle re-engineered to accommodate a fully variable four-wheel-drive system in selected models. That move is set to endow it with significantly greater performance potential than its predecessor. Insiders at Mercedes-AMG’s headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany, suggest a series of driveline innovations will push the power output of future upper-end GT models beyond 650bhp. The innovations will include an electric boosting capability as part of a range of new mild-hybrid EQ Boost functions. As well as increasing the power output, the addition of electric boosting via a starter/ alternator and new 48V electric architecture will bring a notable increase in torque to the GT’s upgraded V8 engine. The successor model to today’s GT R is set to generate up to 700lb ft. As a point of reference, the most powerful current iteration of AMG’s V8, codenamed M178, resides in the GT63 S 4Matic 4-Door Coupé, where it kicks out 630bhp and 664lb ft with an initial range of EQ Boost functions. In today’s form, the GT R makes 577bhp and 516lb ft. The new GT will once again be produced in both coupé and roadster bodystyles. It’s scheduled to reach UK showrooms in early 2022. Key rivals for the new model include the Porsche 911, which is also set to adopt hybrid functions when the facelifted version of today’s 992-generation model is launched, and the Aston Martin Vantage. But whereas Porsche is looking to go down the full plug-in hybrid route, including all-electric capability for limited distances, this has been ruled out for future Mercedes-AMG GT models because of packaging concerns. One source told Autocar: “With a 75-litre fuel tank behind the cabin, we’re already at the limit on packaging. For worthwhile distances on electric, you need a battery with at least 12kWh of capacity. As well as commanding space, it also adds quite significantly to the weight.” Key to the future of the GT is a decision by Mercedes-Benz to twin it with the successor to the SL. Both models share vital elements of their platform, driveline and interior in a move that, AMG insiders told Autocar, has helped to streamline and lower the cost of their development despite the adoption of new technology. Among that new tech is a four-wheel-drive system that can rapidly balance drive between the front and rear axles as well as a torque vectoring function to vary the amount of power sent to each individual rear wheel. Together with a newly developed transaxle, the added traction of the new four-wheel-drive system should rectify one of the existing, rear-drive-only GT’s weaknesses – namely its standing-start acceleration in comparison with the supercar competition. But, like today’s E63, it will feature a Drift function, which sends power exclusively to the rear wheels. Although the GT is set to retain its existing two-seat layout, the new SL will adopt a roomier 2+2 interior – a move, Autocar has been told, that’s aimed at ensuring the models appeal to different customers. The basis for the second-generation GT is a revised aluminium spaceframe that is claimed to weigh less than the 233kg structure used by the existing model. The weight saving has been achieved in part by the adoption of more cast aluminium components within load-bearing areas. Mercedes-AMG is also said to have met its aim of increased rigidity, most notably in the front end of the new spaceframe, which uses a newly designed transverse member with what is described as “improved torsional properties”. The new GT is expected to feature a more contemporary exterior, described as being “a bigger step away from the current GT as it was from the earlier SLS”. The more modern approach is also said to be reflected inside, with new Formula 1-inspired digital graphics among the early design proposals. Read more 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series set to make 680bhp​ Mercedes-AMG GT R review​ Mercedes-AMG plots first EV-only sports car​ View the full article
  3. Dr Olvey saved Alex Zanardi’s life when he lost both legs in 2001 New documentary is a revealing foray into the dark world of motorsport medical professionals “I didn’t know then how little I knew,” says Dr Steve Olvey when reflecting on his early years in racing. It’s all too easy to slide on the rose-tinted specs when reflecting on ‘the good old days’, but when you were Indycar’s dedicated doctor for three decades and lived with the brutal consequences of US oval racing, your vision’s hue tends to be a little darker. Rapid Response is a new feature-length documentary based on his memoir of a life spent in the medical frontline of US single-seater racing – and it’s gruesome. The subject matter – how a sport faced up and dealt with a driver mortality rate comparable to soldiers in war – doesn’t really account for what might be considered good taste, and the film’s archive footage drawn from six decades leaves nothing to the imagination. But the approach is not ‘sensationalist’. Instead, the film soberly presents the cold reality of racing at 200mph-plus on ovals bordered by concrete walls, in cars that offered little to protect the human within, through the eyes of those who dealt with the horror when things went wrong. To do that, the film makers had to show just how cruel the sport could be. It’s honest – perhaps too much for some. For UK audiences, Dr Olvey is best described as Indycar’s version of Formula 1 legend Professor Sid Watkins: a lifelong fan who dedicated his medical expertise to change racing for the better. And like ‘Prof’, the contribution he and others such as orthopaedic surgeon Dr Terry Trammell made to their sport cannot be over-estimated. They achieved and changed more than any driver, team owner or race promoter. Dr Olvey’s story precedes Prof’s involvement in F1, then runs directly in parallel from the 1970s. Both battled the old attitude that motor racing was simply dangerous, that death was an accepted price – and that safety was a dirty word. Both also faced opposition from circuit owners and race promoters to accept proper, common standards of medical care at every race track. Their research into injuries even directly influenced the design of the carbonfibre wonders that are today’s single-seaters. Rapid Response reminds us just how far we’ve come since a young boy witnessed the 1955 Indy 500 in which his hero, the great Bill Vukovich, perished. But as he’d readily admit, Dr Olvey’s work hasn’t made motorsport safe – only safer. The loss of Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert at Spa in August is a stark reminder that this is one battle that can never be truly won. Read more The motorsport legend who runs an MOT centre​ Racing lines: Welcoming Dario Franchitti back to motorsport Analysis: Why 1999 was Mercedes' last year at Le Mans​ View the full article
  4. Today
  5. Volkswagen revitalises the eight-generation Passat range, starting with the beefed-up but smart-looking Alltrack estate The eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat has been refreshed, four years after it was launched in 2015. And this particular version – the slightly higher-riding all-wheel-drive estate known as the Alltrack – first appeared with the Passat iteration that arrived before that, in 2010.The Alltrack provides a useful mix of load-carrying and mild-off-road capability in a format popularized by Volvo’s Cross Country models and the Allroad estates of sister brand Audi.The Passat refresh is relatively modest. Items now standard include particulate filters for all engines, LED lights front and rear and Travel Assist, which enables the car to drive at up to 130mph in part-automated mode. The adaptive cruise control now reads and acts on speed limit signs, and while this can be over-ridden with a switch or the accelerator pedal, it will return to the speed it sees on the next sign, limiting the usefulness of this essential tool for anyone who doesn’t cruise on the motorway at exactly 70mph.More positively, the infotainment system can now screen Apple CarPlay or Android Auto without a cable, and potential Passat buyers must now navigate a modest orchard’s worth of eight model derivatives rather than the previous forest.Among the culled line-up is the Alltrack sampled here, its identifiers including the black plastic wheel arch extensions of an off-roader, more ruggedly sculpted bumpers, new 18in alloy rims, the option of a bucolic bottle green paint finish, assorted decor highlights in stainless steel, aluminium and chrome and Volkswagen's 'Discover' 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system.More fundamentally, its 4Motion system provides an off-roading mode and the 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel that's your sole engine choice comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.View the full article
  6. BMW will renew its Mercedes B-Class rival after revealing new two-door and four-door 2 Series coupé models The next-generation BMW 2 Series Active Tourer has been photographed in thinly disguised prototype form ahead of its expected unveiling next year. The Mercedes-Benz B-Class rival, spied on the back of trailer outside a BMW facility in Germany, can be seen sporting an evolutionary look more closely aligned with the new 1 Series, upon which it's based. It also appears to have shorter overhangs than the current model, suggesting BMW has worked to improve interior space and packaging. Expect the range of engines to include a base 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol and 2.0-litre four-cylinder tubo petrol, available in a number of different power outputs. A full range of diesels ranging from 118bhp to 188bhp will also feature. The expectation is that a plug-in hybrid variant will again be offered, given the necessity of such cars to reduce fleet average CO2 emissions, but nothing has yet been confirmed. Don't expect to see an M-tuned variant any time soon, because it would be far from the firm's core market. However, a 302bhp 35i version would be technically possible, given the 2 Series Active Tourer's close relationship to the 1 Series. The Active Tourer will join the newly revamped 2 Series line-up after the unveiling of the new four-door Gran Coupé late this year and the traditional two-door coupé early next year. BMW sources have suggested to Autocar that the seven-seat 2 Series Gran Tourer won't return, however, due to a lack of buyer interest in larger MPVs. Read more: BMW 1 Series 2019 review BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 2019 review Mini to revive Traveller name for BMW i3-based MPV View the full article
  7. Building a credible Land Rover rival with zero experience won't be easy, but Ineos has the ingredients to make it work When Sir Jim Ratcliffe first discussed his own line of simpler-than-the-Defender 4x4s in earnest, the idea that a company with no experience of building cars from a standing start – and doing it economically – seemed difficult to swallow. If it looked like that, it doesn’t now. Ineos Automotive has assembled a management team of convincing experts who have plausible answers to all the key questions except one (we’ll come to it). And they’re talking about the kind of vehicle that many people find desirable, in an arena abandoned by Land Rover in its unquenchable zeal to build premium vehicles. Official: Ineos confirms Bridgend factory for Grenadier 4x4 In the words of a friend of mine, a farmer who never drives anything but his Defender: “I need something that will carry a ram, a dog, a chainsaw and several bales of straw, go up steep hills in snow, never ground out, tow 3.5 tonnes, push aside brambles and be power-washable inside. I want a really good tool, the kind you treasure but that won’t break when you drop it. If they do that, and it doesn’t get nice-ified, I want one…” That lingering question? Ineos has said ominously little about the styling and who’s doing it. It cites the new Jeep Gladiator as a rival, appearing not to notice how carefully and cleverly that pick-up has been styled. If I were a betting man, I’d say Sir Jim is having a bit of a go himself. And he might be good at it; who knows? Sir William Lyons was, but he wouldn’t have been able to do what Jaguar’s designers do today. Anyhow, it all makes the already-fascinating reveal moment that much more exciting. Roll on 2020! Ineos considering hydrogen version of Grenadier 4x4 The epic story of the Land Rover Defender Ineos confirms BMW engines for Grenadier 4x4 View the full article
  8. Ineos Automotive also reveals BMW power sources for new Defender-inspired model that's due to be shown next year Ineos Automotive, founded by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe to create an “uncompromising 4x4” in the mould of the original Land Rover Defender, has confirmed that its new vehicle family will carry the name Grenadier and be built in an all-new plant in Bridgend, South Wales. The £600 million project will utilise body and chassis parts sourced from – and painted in – a second new Ineos car plant currently being commissioned in Estarreja, Portugal, close to many established automotive suppliers. The Grenadier name, which was chosen from an online poll of 6000 fans and followers, invokes the Knightsbridge pub where Ratcliffe, a lifelong Land Rover fan, first hatched his plan to build his own no-frills 4x4. The project has been live since early 2017. The company will unveil the completed vehicle next year, although it won’t detail the launch plans yet. Top 10 best 4x4s and off-roaders 2019 Ineos expects its two new plants to each create around 500 new jobs once production hits full speed. Ratcliffe says the company had “lots of good options across the world” for locating the plants but chose Wales for the final assembly “as a significant expression of confidence in British manufacturing”. Ineos will eventually build 25,000 cars per year once it completes a production ramp-up from the beginning of production in 2021 and says it could do even more than that if business exceeds expectations. Ineos says it can’t yet specify an entry price for the Grenadier, but commercial director Mark Tennant confided that the costs of current safety equipment and compliance testing are unlikely to allow Ineos to match outgoing Defender prices that started in the low-£20,000s bracket. However, he admitted to keeping a close eye on the four-seat pick-up truck market (Ineos will launch such a model), where prices for well-equipped versions currently start below £30,000. Four-seat pick-ups currently account for 60,000 sales in the UK and 200,000 across Europe. More details of the Grenadier are fast emerging. All models will use diesel or petrol versions of BMW’s latest-spec 3.0-litre straight six engine, driving through an automatic gearbox – probably an eight-speed ZF unit. There won’t be a manual option. The suspension will be non-independent by coil-sprung live axles front and rear, a system especially designed by Ineos on the grounds of extreme durability. The use of such simple suspension with a tough ladder chassis and a separate body will allow a much larger-than-usual number of bodystyles to be offered, although Ineos says it won’t necessarily produce them all. CEO Dirk Heilmann is taking what he calls an open-source approach: he wants to encourage aftermarket suppliers to propose their own special equipment for the Grenadier. Design and engineering is progressing well, said Tennant. The marketing plan is to “get close to the customer”, he explained. “We won’t be selling cars in London’s Westfield shopping centre the way Tesla does, but we might find ourselves selling our vehicles in a field.” As in other arms of the Ineos business, the firm intends to use the abilities of partners already established in the field. Much of the Grenadier's engineering work is being carried out by Stuttgart-based consultancy MBTech, a former subsidiary of Daimler, with off-road testing in Austria. The emphasis is very much on off-road capability, says Tennant, although the Grenadier will have thoroughly acceptable on-road performance. Ineos is revealing little of Grenadier’s styling or design process, beyond the fact that it is analogue, depends a lot on clay modelling and will “make a virtue out of boxiness”. The project has just passed its exterior design freeze, but the interior is still being created, with the emphasis very much on simplicity and minimalism. Ineos’s experience so far leads Tennant to believe the Grenadier 4x4 models may well be the first of a family of Ineos Automotive products. “There are plenty more interesting niches,” he says. “Who knows what we’ll do next?” Ineos considering hydrogen version of Grenadier 4x4 The epic story of the Land Rover Defender Ineos confirms BMW engines for Grenadier 4x4 View the full article
  9. Concept car is set to show a new plug-in hybrid drivetrain that Mitsubishi will use on the Eclipse Cross Mitsubishi will reveal a new compact plug-in hybrid SUV concept at next month’s Tokyo motor show. The as-yet-unnamed car, partially shown in an image and confirmed in limited information released today, is intended to preview Mitsubishi’s next-generation plug-in hybrid four-wheel-drive technology for models smaller than the Outlander. The hybrid technology will be smaller and lighter than Mitsubishi’s current plug-in hybrid system, which it pioneered first on the Outlander PHEV. It will be four-wheel drive and is claimed to offer both improved efficiency in urban environments as well as greater control off road. Mitsubishi has not released any technical details of the new hybrid system, which will join the larger one it already has in its range on the Outlander. That current plug-in hybrid tech mixes a 2.4-litre petrol engine with a 13.8kWh battery and twin electric motors. A replacement for the Outlander was previewed at the Geneva motor show in March with a concept called Engelberg Tourer that continued with a 2.4-litre petrol engine but now mated to a larger 20kWh battery. The concept car’s downsized plug-in hybrid technology could therefore be intended for the Eclipse Cross, either in this generation or the next. Mitsubishi sources confirmed to Autocar earlier this year that the Eclipse Cross would be offered with plug-in hybrid technology in the future. The concept could also provide early clues to the Eclipse Cross’s distant successor, although the limited parts of the styling that can be seen in the preview image show a rather outlandish treatment for the rear of the roof. Mitsubishi sources also confirmed to Autocar that it would look to move its three SUV models - ASX, Eclipse Cross and Outlander - further apart in size. The ASX is set to be offered with an all-electric drivetrain in its next generation, rather than hybrid technology. The 2019 Tokyo concept will follow a 2017 concept at the same show, called e-Evolution. The model offered visual clues to the next ASX, but more pertinently was an early indication of what the famous Evo could turn into - a high-performance electric compact SUV - should Mitsubishi decide to revive it early in the next decade as has long been expected. Read more Latest Tokyo motor show news Mitsubishi committed to future PHEV development Mitsubishi's journey from rally royalty to plug-in pioneer View the full article
  10. Italian firm developed supercar specifically for racing; it's eligible to compete in most FIA-sanctioned events in Europe Little-known Italian car maker ATS Automobili has unveiled a model called the RR Turbo, developed in-house specifically for racing. ATS stood out as one of the first companies to release a street-legal mid-engined car, the Scaglione-designed 2500 GT of 1963, but it looked elsewhere for inspiration when it started designing the RR Turbo. The coupé has the typical proportions of a modern mid-engined supercar, but ATS went to great lengths to make the RR Turbo as light and as quick as possible. Lightweight materials such as aluminium and carbonfibre help keep the dry weight down to 780kg, a figure that makes the even the Alpine A110 (1098kg) look big-boned. That number is even more impressive when you consider that the list of standard features includes a built-in roll cage, an integrated fire extinguisher and suspension that's fully adjustable via a touchscreen mounted on the dashboard. The RR Turbo's engine is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit sourced from Honda and modified by ATS to deliver 592bhp and 390lb ft of torque. It spins the rear wheels through a six-speed paddle-shifted sequential gearbox and a limited-slip differential. Full performance specifications remain under wraps, but the power-to-weight ratio hints at jaw-dropping acceleration times. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available. ATS was founded by a team of Ferrari defectors in 1961 to compete directly against the Maranello marque, but lasted only until the end of 1964, having built just 12 road cars. The brand was revived in 2014 and the new company revealed its limited-edition, McLaren-based GT supercar in 2017. ATS developed the RR Turbo for buyers who want to go racing. It says the car is eligible to race in a majority of the FIA-sanctioned events held in Europe, including GT Cup championships and hillclimbs. It's on sale now, priced from €110,000 (currently £97,525). There's no word yet on whether the coupé will spawn a roadgoing model, although it will inevitably need to gain some weight if it's to be eligible to wear numberplates. Read more: Top 10 best hardcore sports cars 2019 Unlikely track day stars: top picks under £2000 New ATS GT supercar revealed at Salon Privé View the full article
  11. GTE plug-in hybrid has been spotted undisguised, ahead of eighth-generation Golf's reveal in October The next-generation Volkswagen Golf GTE will offer two power outputs when it arrives on roads next year, intended to cater to both those wanting a standard plug-in hybrid and those in the market for a performance-focused PHEV. Volkswagen board member for R&D Frank Welsh told Autocar that the GTE will come with either 201bhp or 241bhp. “Today’s GTI is 241bhp so the GTE should also have 241bhp, so the GTE is really a GTE. But there are some people who just want to stay with a similar plug-in hybrid to today so that is why we’re offering the 201bhp, too. It comes without the GTE trim and just [appears] as a normal Golf.” There will be no e-Golf as VW will focus on its electric, standalone ID 3 model instead. The Golf GTE has been spotted testing undisguised near the Nurburgring, ahead of the eight-generation Golf’s reveal next month. The spies also show Volkwagen’s new logo, revealed at Frankfurt motor show last week. The standard car has already been seen with virtually no disguise before. But now a prototype has been spotted with a charging port built within its front wing, suggesting it is the flagship PHEV model. The latest version of the long-running hatchback was originally due to be unveiled alongside the ID 3 at the Frankfurt motor show, but Volkswagen bosses decided to focus that event on its new electric offering. The Golf has now been confirmed for an October launch. It will go on sale in the UK early next year. Volkswagen design chief Klaus Bischoff said the Golf will feature “elegant proportions”. The German firm says the eighth-generation Golf had been designed for “the era of electrified drives, a digitalised and connected interior world, assisted driving and online-based functions and services.” Volkswagen previously released a design sketch of the Mk8 model that showed a distinct evolution of its interior look and technology. It revealed that the Golf will adopt a large, dual-screen instrument and infotainment display panel stretched across the driver's eyeline. The rest of the interior has a more minimalist look as a result. The car is also expected to have an interior that’s almost completely devoid of conventional switches, at least on the higher-end models. Volkswagen design boss Klaus Bischoff has been quoted as saying that the Mk8’s interior is a “total” digital environment, with the steering wheel the only conventional component. Touchscreens will replace the traditional instrument binnacle and the climate controls. Even the headlight switch could be replaced by a touchpad.Volkswagen's management have also begun offering some details about the latest version of the Golf, the most important machine in the firm's range. Speaking at the Geneva motor show back in March, marketing boss Jürgen Stackmann said the new Golf maintained the heritage of previous versions, but with the benefits of new technology. "The new Golf will be everything people loved for years, but now made digital," he said. "People want a Golf – it's iconic – but now there's a huge leap forward in the digitisation inside it. It's still a Golf, but now digital. It's kept what people have loved and moved it to the next phase." The Mk8 Golf will have levels of fuel-saving technology, connectivity, autonomous driving capability and refinement that are intended to render the mainstream competition second best. Its exterior styling will be an evolutionary design that again emphasises a wide, flowing C-pillar. There is expected to be a little more sharp-edged definition to the bodywork, following the template of the latest Polo. The GTI version will feature large corner air vents in its lower bumper, as previewed by the GTI TCR concept earlier this year. Volkswagen will use the Mk8 Golf to introduce a powerful 48V mild-hybrid powertrain and a new range of micro-hybrids. There will also be versions powered by compressed natural gas. The model’s range will be simplified, with the three-door and estate bodystyles the most likely candidates for the axe. With consumers increasingly turning to SUVs and crossovers, and with makers of large mainstream cars under significant cost and profit pressures, insiders say the Golf Mk8 will attempt to lure buyers who are downsizing from larger cars and premium models such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, offering more cabin and luggage space than is normal in this segment, outstanding refinement and exceptional fuel economy. The new Golf will have a noticeably wider track and even more room in the already spacious cabin, as well as a marginally longer wheelbase and a bigger boot than its hatchback rivals. Update of Mk7 platform The basis for the next Golf is an updated version of the versatile MQB platform used by today’s model. VW insiders suggest it will use a greater percentage of lightweight metal than the existing structure for a 50kg reduction in weight. Planned modifications to the construction process are also said to provide more streamlined production and reduced build times as part of a strategy aimed at improving the economy of scale and profitability of VW’s best-selling model. Although there is still some time to go before the new Golf’s introduction, VW says it has already locked in the car’s design, which has been developed under the guidance of the company’s latest design boss, Michael Mauer, who was responsible for the styling of the current Porsche line-up. Those privy to the latest clay model mock-ups say the new Golf advances the classic hatchback look of its predecessors, with familiar proportions, reinterpreted details and simple surfacing to make it instantly recognisable as a Golf. Key styling features described to Autocar include a thin horizontal grille bookmarked by smaller angular headlights than those in use today, with a distinctive LED daytime running light graphic. The new car is also said to have more pronounced wheel arches and a heavily defined side swage line, in combination with typically wide C-pillars and a relatively upright tailgate. Petrol and diesel engines The new Golf Mk8 will get a range of 12V mild-hybrid engines for the entry-level and mid-range variants. The 1.5-litre TSI ACT petrol unit will be carried over from today’s Golf Mk7 but this will be joined by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol motor and an all-new 1.5-litre diesel, which is also likely to be sold as a 12V mild hybrid. Autocar understands that the assistance of the mild-hybrid system’s starter/ generator lessens the load on the engine and reduces the spikes of NOx emissions from the diesel’s exhaust. One of the more intriguing rumours is that the 1.0-litre petrol engines might not be turbocharged at all, but could instead rely solely on direct assistance from a belt-driven starter/generator motor (SGM). The thinking is that the SGM will provide enough extra power and torque for the base engines, allowing the turbocharger, intercooler and associated piping and control systems to be dropped. The Golf Mk8’s diesel line-up will include the new 2.0 TDI (codenamed EA288 Evo) engine. VW says the base version of this unit has been significantly re-engineered to reduce exhaust pollution. There is a more efficient and responsive turbocharger and the engine is lighter, loses less heat and has reduced internal friction. More important, the engine’s particulate filter and catalyst have been resized for improved performance, particularly over time. VW claimed the engine offers an average of 9% more torque and power together with an average 10g/km decrease in CO2 emissions. The firm said the new diesel unit will come in versions ranging from 135bhp to 201bhp and will be seen in Audi models before being installed in the Golf Mk8 next year. Crucial ID concept - click here for more VW has already released details of the Golf’s 1.5-litre TGI Evo natural gas engine, production of which starts this year. Based on the 1.5-litre TSI engine, the TGI unit uses the same Miller cycle valve timing and a variable geometry turbocharger. It develops 129bhp and 148lb ft from 1400rpm when installed in the Golf Mk7. VW claims that this engine emits about 93g/km of CO2 on the NEDC cycle when it is hooked up to the standard- issue dual-clutch gearbox. Natural gas engines are also lower in NOx and particulate emissions than diesel and cars can be refilled from the gas mains network via small wall-mounted compressors. However, the lack of a natural gas infrastructure in the UK means this variant is unlikely to reach these shores. The new or upgraded powertrains will be offered in combination with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, depending on their configuration. Alongside front-wheel drive, VW also plans to offer optional four-wheel drive (which it calls 4Motion) in selected models, like it has done in the previous four generations of its perennial best seller. Two kinds of mild hybrid The big surprise for the Golf Mk8 drivetrains is that VW says it will be investing in both 12V and 48V mild-hybrid systems after the company re-engineered the Golf family MQB electrical architecture (one of the more expensive component systems in a car) to accommodate a 48V system. Until now, 48V mild hybrids have only been used in premium VW Group cars such as the Bentley Bentayga and Audi SQ7. Frank Welsch, VW’s technical development boss, has already revealed the firm’s new ‘affordable’ 48V system, which uses a belt-integrated starter/ generator/alternator to assist the engine by providing extra power and torque directly to the engine’s crankshaft. The key to adopting 48V in a mass-market car was VW and its suppliers developing a less expensive and more compact set-up, which uses a small DC-to-DC converter and small lithium ion battery. Welsch said the 48V set-up allows much greater amounts of energy to be recuperated than with 12V systems, which means significantly improved fuel economy. These new mild-hybrid engines can also start and stop extremely quickly, which will allow the Golf Mk8 to switch in and out of coasting mode when driving, making further fuel savings. Connected tech takes precedence VW sources have already promised that the next Golf will be ‘always connected’. Using the same eSIM card that has already appeared in the new Touareg, the Golf Mk8 will be permanently connected to the internet. This will allow the car to tap into 3D satellite mapping, hybrid radio (where the audio system finds the strongest signal for a station, whether analogue or digital) and the option of live information such as the latest pricing at nearby fuel stations. The permanent connectivity opens the way for these future models to ‘read’ the topography of the road from 3D mapping, for example, and switch to coasting when heading downhill, or approaching a junction. Autonomous driving will be a key feature of VW's best-seller in its eighth generation, as the brand will shoehorn even more advanced autonomous technology into the new model, as well as ensuring that it is the most connected car in the company's history, ahead of the all-electric ID hatchback that's also due in late 2019. Head of VW's compact series, Karlheinz Hell, revealed: "The next Golf will take Volkswagen into the era of fully connected vehicles with extended autonomous driving functions. It will have more software on board than ever before. It will always be online and its digital cockpit and assistance systems will be the benchmark in terms of connectivity and safety." The current Golf benefits from VW's semi-autonomous Traffic Jam Assist system, which controls the steering, acceleration and braking of the car under 37mph, so it's certain that the Mk8 model will take a leap in advancement over this. Elsewhere, the Audi A8 is the first car in the wider VW Group to achieve level three autonomy where permitted. Golf to set VW design agenda While the new Golf will be an evolutionary take on the outgoing car, it will feature new design elements that design chief Klaus Bischoff described being “more fluid, more sporty with a very unique face”. It’s part of a new VW strategy to differentiate its standard model range from the new ID family of electric cars, said Bischoff: “[ID is] a new world of proportions and totally new bodystyles which are more emotional. As we go through the ceiling design- wise on ID cars, we need to echo that with ICE cars, so these will have more sporty proportions [and] a more progressive, clean design.” Bischoff said future cars will remain faithful to VW’s traditional design cues: “We are looking to our origins so no ‘me too’ products. They will all remain as very individual VWs. “If you look at front- of-car designs, nearly everybody is copying Audi. VW will go down its own road to stay true to the brand, and not look over the fence to others.” Volkswagen reaps MQB’s rewards Volkswagen’s MQB architecture underpins its best-selling model, the Golf, of which 968,284 were sold in 2017. The modular toolkit is used for most of the firm’s most successful models. In total, five MQB models currently account for 3.8 million global sales. The firm’s second-bestseller last year was the Jetta/Sagitar (the latter is a Chinese-market compact saloon), with 883,346 units sold. The seventh-generation Jetta, which went on sale this year, is now based on MQB, as are the firm’s two next best-sellers: the Tiguan SUV (769,870 sold), in both short- and long-wheelbase forms, and the Polo. The Lavida, a Jetta-sized MQB saloon sold only in China, is the firm’s sixth best-selling model, with 507,000 made in 2017. That leaves the Passat/Magotan family, which is sold in Europe, the US and China. Current European versions of this model are built on MQB, with the US and Chinese versions switching to the architecture in 2019, adding another 660,000 or so MQB cars to the sales total. Those figures are simply for Volkswagen itself: the MQB toolkit is also used widely across the group’s other brands. Read more Volkswagen reveals new logo VW ID 3: crucial EV offers up to 341-mile range Volkswagen Golf R power drops to 296bhp amid WLTP change View the full article
  12. Two firms will focus on vehicle-to-grid charging systems - which could allow owners to make money by plugging in their car Nissan and energy giant EDF Group have reached a deal to work together to develop smart charging technology for electric vehicles – including systems that could allow Leaf and e-NV200 van owners to earn discounts on their electricity bills. The two firms already co-operate on a number of EV systems, but have expanded their collaboration with a focus on smart charging systems in the UK, France, Belgium and Italy. In particular, the agreement will focus on ‘vehicle to grid’ (V2G) systems, which allow the energy stored in a car battery that is plugged into a home charger to be ‘sold’ back to a supplier when needed. Nissan will focus on developing technology that will work with the electric Leaf and e-NV200, with EDF leading the development of V2G charging systems and services. The technology is likely to be particularly relevant to businesses, which could have large fleets of electric vehicles plugged in outside work hours without being used. Such a fleet could offer a significant amount of energy storage capacity, which a supplier such as EDF could pay to use in order to balance supply elsewhere. Francisco Carranza, the boss of Nissan Energy in Europe, said the deal was “another sign that our vision of an electric ecosystem is becoming a reality.” He added that a V2G solution would be “a logical next step” for Nissan EV owners to manage their energy supply and open “new revenue opportunities.” Read more Nissan Leaf price raised in the UK Taking on the Three Peaks Challenge in a Nissan Leaf Nissan and government lead UK's biggest vehicle to grid project View the full article
  13. Stanton left Jaguar Land Rover for new Chinese company Human Horizons Challenge of Human Horizons' autonomy-rich HiPhi 1 lured top engineer to China Mark Stanton was one of the big beasts in the British car industry. He built his career at Ford and Jaguar Land Rover, becoming JLR’s director of vehicle engineering and then head of its Special Vehicle Operations division. But he has joined the exodus of senior automotive talent to China, where he is now chief technical officer for bold EV start-up Human Horizons. The firm revealed its first car, the HiPhi 1, last month. A six-seat coupé-ish SUV with high levels of autonomy, it’s due on sale in China by 2021. But why did Stanton, 59, leave JLR’s high-performance arm to gamble on a Chinese start-up? “SVO was meant to be the pinnacle and to begin with it felt that way,” he said. “I don’t want to speak ill of JLR because I still have a passion for them and the product, but the frustrations grew and grew. It should have been a great swansong but it didn’t turn out that way… “I could have gone on another three or four years and retired, but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to change direction and do something different.” Moving to China has been financially rewarding, but Stanton said he had offers from several manufacturers, two of which would have kept him in the UK. But he said: “I didn’t want to go and work for another big OEM. I didn’t want that management style and that baggage. I was looking for more freedom.” After meeting with Human Horizon co-founders Kevin Chen and Ding Lei, both of whom have worked with western brands in China, Stanton decided it was a match. He relocated to Shanghai last year and now leads a team of 400 engineers. “We could never have moved so quickly in any traditional OEM,” he said. Stanton said his contacts in the automotive supply base have been useful, with many components for the HiPhi 1 sourced from top-tier European firms. Those include Michelin low-rolling-resistance tyres, which, Stanton said, “aren’t widely available in China.” Stanton had another reason to switch to an EV-only firm: “I got religion, I guess.” Having been involved with JLR’s electrification programme, “the environmental side has become really important to me. Cars have been around for 110 years and I’ve been working in the industry for 35 years. During that time, I think I’ve made the world a worse place. I’ve been contributing to the problem [of emissions]. “Conventional OEMs are trying to move forward, but it is so difficult with everything else they need to do. It’s much easier to create a new world from scratch.” Asked how he squared that with his role at SVO, Stanton looked slightly uncomfortable – “yeah, there were a lot of V8s” – and said he doesn’t own a conventional car any more. He said he doesn’t know if Human Horizons will be one of the Chinese EV start-ups that breaks through, but he insists it has the funding and connections to succeed. “I’m in a lucky position because if it doesn’t work out, I don’t really suffer. I can retire and put my feet up,” he said. “But I want this to succeed, because we’ve got 1000 employees now and I want it to work for them.” Read more Chinese start-up Human Horizons unveils radical electric SUV concept​ Opinion: China's newest EV start-up is worth taking seriously​ Bringing premium EVs to China: Behind the scenes at Nio​ View the full article
  14. Yesterday
  15. Want a fast executive saloon but don't want to shout about it? Volvo's new S60 T8 could be for you. We try it in the UK for the first time. Volvo’s very modernist approach to the performance saloon format. And it will be a direction that the established elite in that segment have to follow as the electrification ramp-up marches on.This is Volvo’s fastest-accelerating production car, but it does things a little differently to the Germans. That’s why this T8-badged S60 gets no big wing, no flared arches, no giant air intakes and no shouty, quad-tipped exhaust to announce its presence. That may cause some to lose interest already. And probably for the best: Volvo isn’t aiming to beat the BMW M340i at its own game here - it’s aiming for a more reserved customer less inclined to make a big song and dance about their car's power and pace.We’re plenty familiar with the concept of Volvo’s ‘Twin Engine’ T8 system, which has proven its worth in the 90 series models and the XC60 to date. But for the uninitiated, here goes: It’s got a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that is both turbocharged and supercharged, but it’s also a plug-in hybrid, supplemented by an 86bhp electric motor driving the rear axle for all-wheel drive. It funnels all the propulsion sources through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. If that all sounds terribly complicated, well, it kind of is. For 2019 the T8 powertrain gets a slightly bigger 11.8kWh lithium ion battery pack, with Volvo claiming up to 30 miles is possible on electric power alone.View the full article
  16. The second four-door version of the A-Class sticks to the same formula as the hatchback – and largely gets it right Look closely: this isn’t the new Mercedes-Benz CLA, but rather a saloon version of the new A-Class hatchback. But wasn’t the CLA the saloon version of the A-Class hatchback, I hear you ask? It used to be, but now there are two of them.Why? China and North America are the primary reasons for the need for a more conventional A-Class saloon, where the swoopier CLA sacrifices just too much practicality for style. The CLA, a big commercial success in its first generation, still keeps its place in the line-up, Mercedes taking the opportunity to dial up the driver appeal - with decidedly mixed results, as our recent road test has revealed.That then leaves the A-Class Saloon to simply play the role of being an A-Class with a boot without the need to try and also be a coupé or any other kind of niche. Three boxes, five seats: an age-old formula.The engine range is familiar from the A-Class hatchback, so you can have 1.3-litre and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrols and 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesels in various states of tune. They're hooked up to a six-speed manual, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic or eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, depending on the version.Tested here is the mid-upper range A250, which uses a 221bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol unit, decked out in range-topping AMG Line trim.View the full article
  17. Usually a case of the HT leads failing...check the condition and if in doubt then replace them, they're cheap enough. Other faults that could cause the misfire is water (or oil) getting into the spark plug holes in the head where they are recessed into the valve cover and run quite deep. Then if water goes past the HT leads (which should ideally cover the ports) then this can store in the bottom of the plug and cause a misfire. Another fault is if the valve cover gasket is leaking oil then this can also drip into the recess....all quite easy to check and rectify at little cost. Let us know what you find
  18. great choice of old school cars BobT Had a Eunos and a Freelander (or two) and have to say that I was pleased with both and neither of them gave me any real bother and if they did they were easy to fix and cheap on parts. Not had an ML and don't think I could afford the running costs on one either Currently doing some work on a Grand Cherokee and the owner has had it for years without any issues apart from a battery and tyres to date.
  19. Hi BobT....welcome to the Forums Always a car nut or two on here so hopefully we can keep you enthused. Good to have you onboard
  20. i have a misfire on my 1991 mazda eunos 1.6 and it disapears after a while i suppose when it is hot. any ideas? hasn't worried me but is spoiling the drive until it is warmed up
  21. my daily driver is a mercedes ml320 which i need to get rid of but not ready to just yet other cars i own are a mx5 eunos and a land rover freelander would like to get rid of the freelander and merc and buy a jeep cherokee instead
  22. Hello BobT reporting for duty been a car nut for many years and nice to still find forums to chat with other people about cars
  23. The Kia e-Niro meets a diesel BMW X6 in an electric charging bay Nice people, stupid people, Tesla lovers, strokes of marketing genius and the highs and lows of the charging network Earlier this year, as part of a long-term test review, I had six months to discover just how good the Kia e-Niro is. But as the time neared its end, it became apparent that the car's real-world 250-300-mile range meant I hadn’t driven anywhere that necessitated the use of the UK's public charging network. So it was that I took the plunge, adding further jeopardy by making this pioneering journey with my entire family in tow, off on our summer holidays to West Wales. At worst, I wouldn’t return just on a flatbed truck but also divorced and with children who no longer wanted to know me. The challenge was complex, because we needed to travel to and from Wales on the motorway networks, whereas we would be looking for every kind of charger available while we were there, from rural public spots to those provided by local car dealers and even, on occasion, three-pin plugs where we were staying. However, 800 miles later and with two journeys of more than 250 miles under our belts, we were back home and still on speaking terms. It took some planning and there were fleeting moments of inconvenience and lost time, but it worked out just fine, a few ultimately minor dramas aside. Here, then, are some of the lessons learned from a trip that proved to me once and for all that the capability of today’s EVs and charging network make the switch from a petrol or diesel car far easier than most people imagine. 1. Electric car people are nice people I’ll be honest, I had my doubts. Social media is awash with virtue-signalling EV evangelists who jump at the chance to strike out at anyone who dare suggest even the slightest compromise of electrification. But everyone I met in an electric car was friendly, helpful and informative, and many went out of their way to help and educate me. This is the kind of advocacy needed to persuade anyone with doubts to switch to electric motoring, and it was a joy to discover a positive subject that bound people together in a common goal. 2. Some people can’t help behaving like idiots Based on my journey, 'some people' is actually mostly made up of BMW drivers. The chap who parked his diesel X6 in a charging bay and left its engine running for 20 minutes? Idiot. The BMW 5 Series plug-in hybrid buyer who dropped it in a charging bay but then got ticketed because he wasn’t smart enough to plug it in? Bigger idiot. The only upside was that they weren’t using disabled bays, I guess. 3. The Tesco/Podpoint/Volkswagen tie-up is a stroke of genius Parked up in Tesco in Cardigan taking on a quick top-up, I must have encountered close to 100 shoppers wanting to know what I and my Hyundai Ioniq-driving neighbour were up to. It helps, of course, that there are big signs and a video screen to catch the attention, but for most people I spoke to, it was the prospect of free fuel that had them intrigued and - from the quality of the questions - off to research more about electric cars. Greater news for EV uptake, even greater news if you’re about to launch the ID 3. 4. 7kW charging on the motorway is useless You don’t need big energy to charge overnight at home, but it’s all you want when you’re trying to get somewhere. Incredibly, I encountered numerous motorway outlets that could only trickle around 20 miles of range into the car in the maximum 45 minutes of charging allowable. That's nigh-on useless and underlines that as well as expanding the network, providers must focus on upgrading it where appropriate. 5. Ecotricity’s motorway network needs urgent improvement I have pondered over naming and shaming, but the weight of evidence against Ecotricity is overwhelming, both from the fact that my only disrupted or failed charges came at its hands and the catalogue of complaints online. The company isn’t without its positives, but it's regularly providing the sort of experiences that would put off many people from making the switch to an electric car and prompt hugely damaging headlines. If it won’t improve its act, someone else should be asked to step in. 6. Planning ahead isn’t that hard - but it helps to do it It sounds obvious, but if you’re like me, the only planning you’ve thought about ahead of long trips previously is trying to avoid rip-off motorway prices. Driving an electric car requires more care, but not much, and of course you get better with experience. There are apps to tell you where chargers are, how fast they charge, whether they’re working and whether they’re available to use. Even if you hate planning ahead, you’re looking at five minutes of homework. 7. Charging needs to be simpler That said, the infrastructure providers and legislators need to bang their heads together fast. I was delighted to discover a Welsh Government initiative trying to pull together the mishmash of providers under an umbrella scheme, so that users could access all the chargers using one app or card, rather than having to sign up to a patchwork of providers. Rumour has it there are more than 50 providers in the UK; someone needs to get the patchwork working together or make contactless payment easier, becuase it’s not unreasonable for people to reject anything that makes life harder. 8. Range doesn’t just get you from A to B, it gives you options For all the headlines about there being more chargers than fuel stations in the UK now, one of the electric car owner’s biggest fears must be crawling up to a charger only to discover it's either busy or broken. It actually happened to us, but whereas the 100-or-so-mile Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe owners were trapped in line, we could motor on to the next set of chargers. If you’re buying, don’t just consider what’s enough, consider what will give you freedom whatever the circumstances. 9. Everyone wants a Tesla Every car maker is either launching or developing a so-called Tesla-killer, yet it only takes half a day on the road to realise just how lazy a line that is. Yes, Tesla has many issues to overcome and yes, it faces mounting opposition from the establishment, but be in no doubt that it remains the maker of the most desirable electric cars on the planet today, as well as garnering something of a cult status among children, the next generation of car buyers. It’s far from a perfect car company, but write it off at your peril. The Supercharger network is a major bonus, too. 10. Don’t underestimate the three-pin plug It’s a crime that some car makers sell electric cars without the choice of what kind of cable you get with it. My advice would be to have both fast/rapid and three-pin options, as supplied by Kia. The latter may take days to fill a car like the e-Niro from empty to full, but it’s a great way to top up in remote locations and earn a few more options for where you can get to once you get going again. 11. The cars and the charging infrastructure are good enough today I know there’s a mountain of obstacles still to overcome, but the number of mainstream media articles showing long-distance electric car journeys ending in disaster, prompting widespread disbelief at how the country will never be ready to switch, are nonsense. I know it’s possible because I did it and met tens of drivers who've happily taken on far more ambitious journeys without issue. Cars like the e-Niro with 250-plus miles of real range transform the capability, and there are more than enough performing chargers out there to keep most people moving. It’s not for everyone, I know, but I truly believe that for most of the people, most of the time, switching would be no barrier to their lives as they know them today. 12. Don’t forget what you’ve forgotten As I write this, the e-Niro has gone to find a new owner, its loan having ended a week ago. Yesterday, I took my new test car - a perfectly brilliant diesel-powered seven-seat SUV - for its first fill. I’d forgotten how dirty fuel pumps are, how much time you end up spending at them and - above all - how expensive they are, to the extent one 500-mile tank cost me £75. That's precisely half what I estimate the e-Niro to have cost me over 10,000 miles, thanks to my access to some free and much relatively cheap home charging. Charging sounds a faff, and it can be, but 99% of the time I plugged in and forgot about it until it was time to get in the car again. That is an infinitely preferable experience to going to a fuel station and parting with wads of cash. Read more Kia e-Niro long-term review EVs need paying and charging conformity, says top charger maker Electric chargers should offer card payment by 2020 View the full article
  24. The Mercedes-Maybach SUV as imagined by Autocar Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan rival set to cost around £150,000 Mercedes-Benz will crown its SUV line-up in November with the reveal of a plush new Maybach-badged GLS model conceived to act as an upmarket rival to the Bentley Bentayga, Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Mercedes launched Maybach as a premium sub-brand in 2014, initially with a reworked Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. It has now confirmed that it will reveal the first Maybach SUV at an event in November. Sources at the Frankfurt motor show told Autocar that the the GLS Maybach will launch at a price of around £150,000. It has been developed to offer performance, accommodation and features commensurate with the existing Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, according to senior Mercedes-Benz officials. They cite China, North America and Russia among the new model’s key target markets. Autocar can confirm the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS will receive its own unique styling elements, many of which will be drawn directly from the Mercedes-Maybach 6 coupé concept revealed at Pebble Beach in 2016 as a preview to the future of Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach sub-brand. Despite retaining the same aluminium, high-strength steel and composite body panels as future standard GLS models, the new upmarket SUV is expected to sport a different grille and unique headlight and tail-light graphics, as well as added chrome and individual wheel designs in a move aimed at providing it with a more noble appearance in line with the current Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Secrecy surrounds the layout of the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS, although there are suggestions it could also have an extended wheelbase in an attempt to provide it with the sort of rear-seat leg room offered by the luxury SUV competition. The current 5130mm-long second-generation GLS rides on a 3080mm wheelbase – some 40mm shorter than that used by the 5199mm-long Range Rover SVAutobiography Long Wheelbase but 80mm longer than that of the 5140mm-long Bentley Bentayga. Inside, the second of the new generation of Maybach models is planned to gain a luxuriously equipped cabin with appointments and materials beyond those of Mercedes-Benz’s existing Designo line. Among the more unique touches will be Maybach-themed digital instrument infotainment system graphics, says an insider closely involved in the new model’s development. Although the standard third-generation GLS is planned to offer seating for up to seven on three rows of seats, the new Maybach model is set to offer two rows of seats with dedicated seating for four, or, as an option, five. Among the engines likely to be offered by the future range-topping GLS model is Mercedes-Benz’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol mated to a standard nine-speed automatic gearbox, with both 4Matic four-wheel drive and Air Body Control air suspension due to be standard. Insiders also hint at plans for a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 flagship, although this has yet to be officially acknowledged. Also under development for the new GLS are petrol-electric and diesel-electric hybrid drivetrains – the latter of which is set to debut in the E-Class later this year. Mercedes-Benz’s plan to extend the Maybach line-up to include a GLS-based model comes after strong sales of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. View the full article
  25. Nissan Juke rival arrives on roads in November and completes Czech firm's SUV line-up The Skoda Kamiq, revealed at Geneva motor show and on roads this November, will be priced from £17,700. The smallest SUV in Skoda’s line-up, the Kamiq range comprises four trim levels, S, SE, SE L and Monte Carlo, the latter of which will become available later this year. Of the three trims available to order now, prices range from £17,700 to £25,130. The Kamiq's key rival, the new Nissan Juke, starts from £17,395. Entry-level S trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail lights, air conditioning, infotainment system with DAB and a 6.5-inch touchscreen display. The mid-range SE model, from £19,135, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, rear parking sensors and cruise control. The Kamiq, which completes Skoda's European SUV range, will offer class-leading space and features, claims the Czech firm. The Juke rival, first shown at the Geneva show, is smaller than its Karoq and Kodiaq siblings. The Kamiq is based on the Vision X concept shown at last year's Geneva show and is the first Skoda to show the influence of new design chief Oliver Stefani. While it takes styling cues from both the Karoq and Kodiaq to ensure a 'family' resemblance between Skoda's SUV offerings, the Kamiq has several distinctive features, including a more upright grille and optional narrow LED running lights. The latter feature animated ‘dynamic’ indicators and sit above the main headlights. As with the new Scala, the boot displays the Skoda name in letters, instead of the firm's logo. The Kamiq will be offered with front-wheel drive only. Although aimed primarily at a family market in urban areas, it will deliver “sporty” handling, according to project manager Emil Nikolov. The Kamiq is available with optional Sport Chassis Control, which makes the car sit 10mm lower than standard and uses adjustable shock absorbers. Three petrol engines and one diesel are offered in the UK. There are two 1.0 TSI petrol options, with 94bhp and 113bhp respectively; and a 1.5 TSI petrol with 148bhp. The diesel offering is a 1.6 TDI with 113bhp. In certain European markets, a CNG powertrain will be offered, although this option won't come to the UK. There is a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The Kamiq is built on the Volkswagen Group MQB A0 platform used by the Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Cross but has more interior space than both. The new compact SUV is 4241mm long with a wheelbase of 2651mm, both of which are 85mm longer than the Arona. That also makes the Kamiq 106mm longer than the Juke, with a 121mm-longer wheelbase. Skoda says extending the wheelbase has allowed it to maximise interior space; the firm claims that the Kamiq has more rear leg room than in the Octavia and Karoq. It has a boot capacity of 400 litres, identical to the Arona's and 46 litres bigger than the Juke's. The Kamiq's boot can be accessed using an electric tailgate and expands to 1395 litres with the rear seats folder. The interior features a similar layout to the recently launched Scala, including the option of a 9.2in free-standing infotainment touchscreen that sits above a hand-rest 'shelf' and an optional 10.25in virtual cockpit. The air vents have been pushed to the side of the dashboard in a bid to increase space and ambient lighting is offered in three colours. Options include heated front and rear seats. Skoda claims more than 20 of its 'Simply Clever' features are available, including a removable LED torch in the boot. The Kamiq will be offered with a permanent internet connection and a number of connected features, such as remote vehicle access via an app. The car comes with Front Assist and Lane Assist as standard, with optional safety features that include Park Assist, Rear Traffic Alert and a rear-view camera. The Kamiq is unrelated to the Chinese-market SUV of the same name. That machine is larger and built on an older platform, but Skoda has used the same name because they are the smallest SUVs it offers in each market. As with the Karoq and Kodiaq, the Kamiq name is based on a word from the Inuit language. It "embodied something in which you can feel comfortable in any situation and that has its own character," according to Skoda sales boss Alain Favey. Read more Skoda Kodiaq review New Volkswagen T-Roc R packs 296bhp for 2019​ Nissan Juke is bigger, cleaner, more 'grown up' View the full article
  26. VW's two core EVs are seen alongside each other, revealing ID 4's close size and linked design Volkswagen's upcoming ID 4 SUV has again been caught testing, a week after it was on display in camouflage at the Frankfurt motor show. The electric crossover-style SUV will be a big part of the VW ID brand's range offensive in the US. The bodywork similarities of these two prototypes suggest the ID 4 will be closely linked to the ID 3 it is testing alongside, albeit slightly larger and sporting more evident SUV design cues. The ID 4 was on show at Frankfurt sporting a heavily camouflaged livery and inside a glass box wrapped in a similar pattern. The set-up was similar to that used by VW when it launched pre-sales for the ID 3 hatch earlier this year. Although VW was giving away little information about the car at Frankfurt, to keep the focus on the company rebranding and the launch of the production ID 3, the Kia e-Niro rival is set to go into production next year. Despite the camouflage, the new EV appears to retain many of the same exterior themes as the ID Crozz concept car, which was first shown more than two years ago and then reworked for the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. Volkswagen ID 3 2020 review Two production versions of the ID Crozz will be offered: a coupé-SUV in the vein of the original concept and this straight SUV model with a more conventional roofline and tailgate design. We can also see it has conventional rear doors, ditching the sliding items of the 2017 car. It's not yet clear if the coupé variant will also adopt this approach, but it's likely. The ID 4 will be built in Europe, the US and China, cementing its status as a truly global model and a crucial kingpin of the brand's rapid EV rollout. "As early as 2020, we aim to sell 100,000 all-electric Volkswagens [per year]," said VW Group chairman Herbert Diess at the Crozz concept's 2017 unveiling. "But this is just the beginning. By 2025, annual sales could increase tenfold to one million vehicles." Diess said the new ID electric car line-up will be offered alongside traditional combustion-engined and hybrid-powered VW models. The ID 4 aims to combine the dynamic lines of a modern-day sports car with the all-terrain capability of a dedicated off-roader. It's said to offer interior space on a par with the Tiguan Allspace, a new long-wheelbase version of VW’s best-selling SUV model. The ID Crozz concept is 4625mm long, 1891mm wide and 1609mm tall, putting it in between the five-seat Tiguan and seven-seat Tiguan Allspace in terms of dimensions. The wheelbase is 2773mm. The MEB-based ID Crozz features two electric motors – one mounted within the front axle, and one at the rear - powered by an 83kWh lithium ion battery housed within the floor structure. The front electric motor sends its 101bhp and 103lb ft to the front wheels. The rear unit delivers 201bhp and 228lb ft to the rear wheels, giving the car a combined output of 302bhp and 332lb ft of torque. This is just under 100bhp more than the powertrain used by the rear-wheel-drive ID hatchback, intended to offset a likely weight increase. The ID 4 is set to have a range of more than 311 miles, with no specific figure yet quoted. No performance figures have been revealed, though VW says it intends limiting the top speed to 112mph. With the car's large battery mounted low down within the floor structure and the electric motors also housed within the axle assemblies front and rear, VW also claims it possesses a front-to-rear weight distribution of 48:52. VW officials have talked up the dynamic qualities, suggesting the new platform and chassis provide a “large spread between handling and comfort”. Read more Volkswagen ID 3: vital EV launched with up to 341-mile range Volkswagen to launch high-performance ID 3 R in future All-electric VW ID estate on the cars for future launch The Wolf of Wolfsburg: Autocar meets VW boss Herbert Diess View the full article
  27. New sports car will spearhead the German company's comeback; is inspired by its 2009 limited-edition GT MF5 German sports car maker Wiesmann will end a tumultuous period in its history by introducing a new car in 2020. Called Project Gecko internally, the model will draw inspiration from the limited-edition GT MF5 of 2009. Project Gecko will spearhead the company's comeback after a short hiatus. It remains under wraps, but teaser images strongly suggest it falls in line with the previous design language, featuring a long bonnet that flows into an upright grille with vertical slats, plus a sloping roofline and pronounced rear wheel arches. Wiesmann points out that its stylists call the model an evolution, not a revolution. Lightweight materials such as aluminium keep the car's mass in check. That's even more important than it was in 2009, because the regulations with which the coupé must comply to be street legal in key markets around the globe have become much stricter. Wiesmann has also pledged to modernise key features, likely in the name of comfort and daily usability. Project Gecko – a name that won't be used in production – will arrive with a front-mid-mounted 4.4-litre V8 engine provided by BMW's M division. The twin-turbocharged unit will spin the rear wheels through a BMW-sourced automatic gearbox in a mechanical layout that enable a 50:50 weight distribution. Wiesmann hasn't published any performance specifications yet. The new car will be assembled by hand at the original Wiesmann factory in Dülmen, Germany. Production is scheduled to start in 2020, so we expect to learn more details about the car over the coming months. While pricing hasn't been announced publicly, enthusiasts interested in the first new Wiesmann model in more than a decade can put their name on the waiting list from 17 September. Wiesmann's decision to rummage through the BMW parts bin hardly comes as a surprise. Founded in 1988, the German firm has historically powered its cars with six, eight and ten-cylinder engines stamped with a Munich parts number. Using turn-key components allowed it to keep costs in check while developing limited-edition sports cars with a retro-inspired design, although it filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and has struggled to recover since. Read more All BMW reviews New 2021 Range Rover spotted with BMW V8 engine View the full article
  28. Korean maker has had to cut off Nexo supply in Europe and US this year because of huge demand in home market Hyundai Nexo sales are being held back by limited production capacity, but still growing exponentially according to the firm’s hydrogen fuel cell business head Dr Sae-Hoon Kim. The Nexo, the firm’s second-generation production fuel cell passenger car, was launched last year, with plans to sell around 1500 cars in 2019. However, in Korea alone 5500 cars have been ordered, meaning supply has been cut off for potential US and European buyers. “We have to do what makes most business sense, and with good subsidies available in Korea that could be cut off at any time the decision was made to fulfill those orders,” said Kim. “We are doing our best to meet demand but it keeps on growing.” As a result Hyundai has invested in upping its production capacity of fuel cell vehicles to 40,000 per year, on a par with Toyota’s current projections. While these figures remain tiny in global car production terms, and even compared to battery-electric production numbers, Kim says that it brings production ever-closer to a point that it is commercially viable. “At around 200,000 units a year you get the scale to buy the materials you need at a cost that could put a hydrogen car on a cost par with today’s battery-electric vehicles,” he said. “At the current rate of demand I can see that happening within five years.” Kim also highlighted Hyundai’s recent work in developing fuel cell technology for commercial vehicles as a priority for advancing the uptake of hydrogen, saying: “The key is that you need 5-10 times more durability than for a passenger car, around one million kilometres,” he said. “We can see today how we get to 500,000km in two to three years, and from there it is possible to take the next steps with the stack design I believe. These improvements don’t necessarily add cost - if you improve technology, sometimes it can reduce costs.” Read more: Audi renews hydrogen powertrain development scheme Under the skin: why hydrogen could be an easy cell Autocar Awards 2019: the winners View the full article
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