Monthly Archives: January 2017

Audi takes charge with the Q8 concept at Detroit

Audi takes charge with the Q8 concept at Detroit

Dynamic, highly efficient and extremely comfortable: Audi is presenting the Audi Q8 concept at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Serving as a prelude to a production model that will be introduced in 2018, it combines the spaciousness typical of an SUV with the elegant lines of a coupe and will tap into a new segment for Audi by offering an alternative to the classic design of the full-size class.

Propulsion is provided by a powerful plug-in hybrid with 330 kW of system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. 

“The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.

“With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.” 

fastest-selling-car-infograAuto Trader has announced the top ten fastest selling used cars of 2016, with Kia’s 2014 Sportage taking the top spot. It took an average of just 23 days for the compact SUV to leave the forecourt.

The Korean company provides a seven-year warranty on all its new cars. This means that even with a 2014 model buyers can enjoy five years of the manufacturers’ warranty, which would have contributed to the Sportage’s huge appeal with used car buyers last year.

The Kia was followed into second place by the Toyota AYGO (2014), which took an average of 24 days to sell, and Nissan’s Qashqai +2 (2013) coming in third, with 25 days.

Surprisingly, the Ford Fiesta, which was identified as the UK’s fastest selling used car in 2015, didn’t make it onto 2016’s top ten list.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader Retailer & Consumer Products Director, said: “It’s not a surprise that the fantastic Kia Sportage took 2016’s crown for the UK’s fastest selling car. It’s performed exceptionally well throughout the year and during a period of turbulence the Sportage, with Kia’s seven-year warranty, represents exceptional value for money and real peace of mind.”

“Despite the turbulence in 2016, consumer confidence has remained extremely strong which has been reflected in both used and new car sales. Whilst undoubtedly 2017 will see some real challenges for the industry, with greater deals and financing options available we can expect the used car market to remain buoyant.”


The UK’s Top 10 Fastest Selling Cars in 2016:

Rank Description Average Days to Sell Average Price Position Average Retail Price
1 2014 Kia Sportage SUV Petrol Manual 23 99.40% £13,680
2 2014 Toyota AYGO Hatchback Petrol Semi-Automatic 24 98.91% £6,969
3 2013 Nissan Qashqai +2 Hatchback Petrol Automatic 25 98.76% £14,385
4 2013 Nissan Qashqai +2 Hatchback Petrol Automatic 27 98.82% £12,663
5 2013 Toyota AYGO Hatchback Petrol Semi-Automatic 27 99.01% £5,910
6 2015 Hyundai ix35 27 98.63% £13,229
7 2015 Vauxhall Mokka Hatchback Petrol Automatic 29 99.63% £13,785
8 2013 Kia Sportage SUV Petrol Manual 29 99.12% £12,445
9 2012 Vauxhall Insignia Hatchback Petrol Manual 29 98.31% £6,675
10 2016 Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback Petrol Automatic 29 100.58% £11,018


continental-biometricsMotorists hope that autonomous technology might save us from ourselves

New research suggests there is a technology arms race as the majority of drivers struggle to disconnect from mobile devices and this undermines safety advances.

As technology and automotive experts meet in Las Vegas at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) it is revealed that drivers are hopeful that advances being made can overcome their own failings – like checking emails and social media while driving.

A third of motorists said that the greater illegal use of mobile phones has reduced road safety, and another 26 per cent think that the safety benefits delivered by automotive technology are cancelled out by people using smart phones illegally behind the wheel.

The new study of 1,000 UK motorists by Continental Tyres is part of its Vision Zero, a long term commitment to reduce road fatalities worldwide. It coincides with the CES where automotive technology is a prominent feature and Continental is exhibiting.

Continental Tyres’ safety expert Mark Griffiths said: “Our latest research has identified a real tension between the present and future technologies and our use of mobile devices. There is a concerning race between the technologies – we are creating solutions to make us safer, yet motorists are jeopardising road safety by struggling to be disconnected.”

At CES the tyre and technology manufacturer, Continental, will showcase its own technological developments. Being demonstrated will be innovations such as in-vehicle biometrics where facial and fingerprint recognition will be used to enhance security, and ‘eHorizon’ for motorcycles, that allows motorcyclists to connect with other bikers and see around corners digitally.

The new research also found we are significantly more sceptical when it comes to promises being made. Those surveyed are 88 per cent more likely to now believe that manufacturers will exaggerate claims about what might be achieved with autonomous technology.

We are also 11 per cent more concerned about autonomous vehicles being hacked compared to when the last study happened in 2015. Four in ten motorists find this a worry about driverless cars.

Mark Griffiths continued: “When considering what automotive systems should be included in our vehicles to improve safety, the behaviour of motorists has to be taken into account. Though, it raises questions on whether motorists should be responsible for their own bad behaviour or the extent of which technology needs to save us from ourselves.”

“We believe that motorists need to always think of safety, regardless of what fantastic technological solutions on the market there may be to help. Any safety device, feature or fitting should complement the safe and responsible behaviour of the driver, though the context of consumer behaviour is vital.

“The study also shows and we recognise a clear need for manufacturers to educate consumers on the benefits of automotive technology to help them to realise the potential for safety that evidently exists as well as help to build trust.”

The findings come after research unveiled in December for Continental found that two thirds of car users said they would back Government action to block certain functions of drivers’ mobile phones when the vehicle is moving.

030117-iamIAM RoadSmart has welcomed Government plans to dramatically improve driver and motorcycling training.

The plans were announced by Andrew Jones, Transport Minister and include learner drivers being allowed on motorways for the first time, novice riders required to complete a theory test as part of their Compulsory Basic Training and provisional motorcyclists to be banned after receiving six penalty points.

The Government says the changes will see competent learner drivers able to have lessons on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car.

In addition the CBT course, which allows motorcyclists to ride unaccompanied on Great Britain’s roads, will also be updated.

The moves have been greeted by IAM RoadSmart, which has long campaigned for these changes.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research, said: “It makes no sense that new drivers learn by trial and, often fatal, error how to use our fastest and most important roads.  Allowing learners on motorways with an approved instructor is a sensible and measured solution that should deliver drivers who are much better able to cope with complex new smart motorways.”

On the changes to motorcycle training, he said: “These proposals close two obvious loopholes that IAM RoadSmart has been highlighting with motorcycle industry training partners.  A theory test should always be the first step for any motorised road user before they reach the road.  The six penalty point approach also finally brings motorcycle users in line with the New Driver’s Act for car drivers.”

The Department for Transport and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency have jointly launched consultations seeking views, which will run until 17 February 2017. The changes could take effect by 2018.

suvKia Motors is starting 2017 with a wide range of offers across its model line-up. For private customers looking to buy a new SUV in January, dealerships will be holding an SUV event, to showcase the exciting range of lifestyle vehicles Kia has to offer and allow customers to pick the right SUV for them.

They will also now benefit from Kia’s servicing package – Care-3, free of charge on models ordered before  January 31 and registered by March 31. The offer is available on all Soul and Soul EV, all-new Niro, all-new Sportage and Sorento models.

For customers looking to buy a new Picanto five-door or MY16 cee’d a great finance offer of zero per cent PCP over three years is available with no deposit between January 1 and March 31.

From January 1 through to March 31 2017, private customers can also benefit from a £1,000 saving on Venga and Sorento as well as the facelifted Carens – which made its debut at the Paris Motor Show last year.

2016 saw the launch of the All-New Optima Sportswagon. For customers who cannot decide between the Optima Saloon or this new model, a free upgrade will be available, making both cars available at the same list price from January 1 to March 31 2017.

The Kia Sorento comes with a £1,000 customer saving as well as free Care-3 for cars ordered in January. In addition, Caravan Club members buying a Sorento privately through the Kia dealer network will benefit from £1,000 towards Kia accessories. All grades have all-wheel drive, hill-start assist, trailer stability assist, reversing sensors and can haul between 2,000kg and 2,500kg depending on the version, meaning this SUV is a perfect companion for caravanning adventures.

qx50c_sketchThe INFINITI QX50 Concept will make its global premiere at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

An evolution of the 2016 QX Sport Inspiration, the QX50 Concept shows how the design of its conceptual forebear could be adapted for a future production model in the world’s fastest-growing vehicle segment. INFINITI’s latest concept confidently articulates the artistic influence of the designer through the brand’s ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language. A ‘cabin-forward’ silhouette combines with taut, muscular lines and flowing surfaces telegraph it as a dynamic and practical SUV.

The organic forms of the ‘driver-centric, passenger-minded’ cabin harmonise with the exterior. Blending progressive design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship, the QX50 Concept’s interior reflects INFINITI’s desire to challenge conventional approaches to premium interior design.

With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of INFINITI QX models. The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how INFINITI could develop its future presence in the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally.”
Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI

q-webAt the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this month, Audi will present the Audi Q8 concept.

The near-production study represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coupé and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV, with all its variability. With this move, the brand is unlocking a new segment for the full-size category.

“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” declared Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”

The study vehicle’s front end is imposing. The octagonal Singleframe is considerably wider than that in Audi’s current production models. It is positioned well forward, with three-dimensional sculpting. Many design elements of the Q8 concept are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro of the 1980s. They include the extremely flat but very wide C-post, and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels. These balanced proportions give equal emphasis to the front and rear wheels – typically quattro.

seatSEAT is giving £1,000 off its entire range in its latest campaign.

‘Beautifully Created Winter Drive’ is available on all new SEAT car retail purchases, with £1,000 (including VAT) off all new SEATs ordered between 21 December 2016 and 23 January 2017. The offer even covers the in-demand Ateca compact SUV and New Leon range. The promotion also comes on top of all other existing national retail offers.

Based on its Technology to Enjoy ethos and a desire to make the buying process as easy and straightforward as possible, prospective buyers simply need to visit www.seat.co.uk to download the instant festive voucher, or, be able to show it on an electronic device, to redeem it in showrooms.

Commenting on the incentive, Steve Catlin, Head of Sales, SEAT UK, said, “SEAT’s had a great end to the year, with plenty of car awards, impressive Ateca sales, not to mention great media reaction to the New Leon. So, in the spirit of giving, I’m sure our new offer will tempt plenty of off- and online Christmas shoppers and New Year sale bargain-hunters into our showrooms over the next few weeks. And that’s even before we look ahead to some gifts of our own in the early part of the year, namely, New Leon in February and the exciting new Leon CUPRA 300 range, including the four-wheel-drive estate, in March.”

Vehicles must be registered and handed over between 1 January and 31 March 2017. Full terms and conditions for the SEAT UK ‘Beautifully Created Winter Drive’ campaign are available at www.seat.co.uk.