Monthly Archives: March 2019

A new, more powerful petrol engine has been added to the line-ups of Skoda’s current SUV contingent.

The 2.0-litre TSI unit produces 190bhp and has an output of 236lbf.ft between 1,400 and 4,100rpm. In all of its applications, it will work in conjunction with a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission with four-wheel drive.

In the Karoq range it is available in SportLine models, and will help the smaller SUV sprint to 62mph in seven seconds flat, whilst also achieving 33.1mpg. Prices start from £31,820 on the road.

There are more avenues for the powertrain with the Kodiaq nameplate as it’s offered with SE L, Scout, SportLine, Edition and L&K specifications. In the bigger car it takes 7.7 seconds and, in SE L form attains 30.1mpg.  In the Kodiaq range pricing starts at £34,120 for the SE L version and rises to £38,770 for the range-topping, seven-seat L&K version.

The new TSI unit is available to order with both models now.

Especially for the 40th Bangkok International Motor Show, Mitsubishi have debuted the Triton Absolute – a rugged and rowdy take on the recently face-lifted L200.

Triton, of course, is the name that the L200 goes by in markets outside of Europe, and the concept appears to have the Ford Ranger Raptor in its sights. It’s bolstered by protective body panelling, more defined tough styling and additional lighting systems, all of which help it live up to the strap line “ABSOLUTELY Beyond Tough”.

There are also front and rear skid plates, plus the tailgate has been redesigned. It sits on a wider track and off-road biased wheels and tyres, and an uprated suspension system offers improved travel and also raises ride height by 50mm.

Like the new facelift model, the Triton Absolute makes its debut in Thailand, where the new L200 is already on the market, albeit under its pseudonym. The new truck is expected in the UK and Europe later this year.

 Landwind X7 facelift photographed in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, by Navigator84, CC BY-SA 4.0

You may well remember that many moons ago, Land Rover were rocked as, one hall away when they were announcing a locally made Evoque at the 2015 Guangzhou Motor Show, the Landwind X7 was launched.

Well today JLR have won the court battle in a ruling that means Landwind must stop producing their £14,000 imitation.

JLR’s head of legal, Keith Benjamin, has said that the ruling benefits their consumers as well as the company itself. He also confirms that it has restored the brand’s faith in investing in the Chinese market.

‘We welcome this decision of the Beijing court which further strengthens our confidence in investing in China and in the fairness of the intellectual property adjudication in the Chinese courts.

‘This ruling is a clear sign of the law being implemented appropriately to protect consumers and uphold their rights so that they are not confused or misled, whilst protecting business investment in design and innovation.’

This victory could lead the way for other big manufacturers to also take action against copycat designs, as others have been hit too – most notably Porsche, who feel that Zoyte copied the Macan when they launched their T700 model in 2016.

Jaguar has announced two new special editions of the F-Pace SUV, increasing standard equipment and sporting appeal in the process.

The 300 Sport edition comes with two choices of engines, both with a neat 300bhp. Either a 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol with 295lbf.ft or a 3.0-litre V6 with 516lbf.ft. Both come with four-wheel drive, whilst the petrol gets to 60 in 5.8 seconds and carries on to 145mph, whilst the diesel takes 6.2 seconds and will peak at 150mph.

It sits on 22″ grey alloys and features dark satin grey exterior detailing, including the grille surround, side vents, mirror caps and the rear valance. 300 Sport badges adorn the grille and rear tailgate and the bodywork exclusively available in Yulong White, Indus Silver and Santorini Black.

The interior gets yellow contrast stitching across the instrument panel, centre console and the leather seating which adds a bit of zest to proceedings. The seats also happen to be heated and 14-way adjustable in the front, and the 300 Sport emblem is embossed onto the treadplates, floor mats, steering wheel and front headrests.

The infotainment comes in the form of Jaguar’s Touch Pro Navigation system, which now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard on all F-Pace models. It also benefits from having a 12.3-inch driver information display, Meridian sound system and a panoramic roof.

The Chequered flag edition has a high spec as it comes based on the R-Sport model. The front bumper and black gloss exterior detailing give it a unique road presence. It comes with 20″ alloys as standard, but can be upgraded to 22s. The colours available are Yulong White, Santorini Black and the newly introduced Eiger Grey.

Leather and aluminium adorn the interior, which has all of the same gadgets as the 300 Sport. Where the Chequered Flag differs is under the bonnet, where there are three options. If it’s petrol’s your poison, then you can have a 250bhp 2.0-litre Ingenium unit, with a 6.6 second 0-60 time and a top speed of 135mph. If diesel is more your jam you can have a 2.0-litre unit with either 240 or 180bhp, with the latter achieving up to 41.9mpg.

The two special editions are on sale now, and are available from £53,980 for the 300 Sport and £46,995 for the Chequered Flag edition.

INEOS Automotive have confirmed that their ProjektGrenadier – pinned as a spiritual successor to the mechanical Land Rover Defender – will use engines provided by an outside company.

And that company will be BMW. In the quest to build an off-road vehicle that embodies the spirit of classics such as the Willys Jeep, J40 Land Cruiser and Series Land Rovers, the German automotive giant will supply a range of both turbocharged petrol and diesel engines for the forthcoming Projekt Grenadier.

Dirk Heilmann, CEO of INEOS Automotive, said: ‘This technology partnership is a very significant milestone for Projekt Grenadier – we are delighted BMW Group will supply engines for our new off-roader. Its reputation as a maker of extremely reliable, high performance engines that offer total durability, efficiency and quality is second to none. Simply put, it builds the best engines in the world. Working with BMW Group is another major step forward in ensuring we deliver on our vision to build an uncompromising 4×4 with the ultimate in engineering integrity.’

The American EV brand has launched its second SUV, the mid-sized Model Y, that, despite sitting beneath the Model X, will be a seven seater.

It will be available with four different battery packs – Standard Range, Long Range, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive and Performance variants. The standard battery will have a range of 230-miles, but that figure swells to 300 with the long range version, and the peppiest power pack can hit 60mph in 3.5seconds and head on to 150mph.

Total stowage, including the front trunk and with the second row of seats folded down, comes in at 1,900 litres, and like the Model 3 hatch, the Y is compatible with compatible with Tesla superchargers and the new V3 superchargers – which can charge up to 1,000 miles per hour. Rather than keys, again like the 3 it connects to a smartphone not only to unlock it but for several other controls.

There’s no details of when the Model Y will come to Europe, and given the delays in Model 3 production it’s tricky to predict, but all but Standard Range models are expected by next autumn, with the entry $39,000 Standard Range Model Y coming later in spring of 2021.

Revealed at the 89th Geneva Motor Show, the all-new SsangYong Korando looks set to take the small SUV sector by the scruff of the neck.

It will come to market with a healthy spec list, a new 1.5-litre petrol engine, and updated version of the old 1.6 diesel and there will be an EV to follow.

There has also been some restyling, with a new headlight and grille design to help it fit in with the current SsangYong family.

The new model is wider, longer and sits shorter on a longer wheelbase than the previous model. This translates into a spacious cabin and storage space of up to 1,248-litres, plus a boot space measuring 551-litres whilst seating five.

Inside, the re-designed interior is contemporary and offers plenty of tech as standard. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come fresh off the shelf, as does the 9″ infotainment touchscreen and 10.25″ LCD driver displays.

Seating in the front is adjustable four-ways, with lumbar support, whilst the interior is also kitted out with ambient lighting – the colour of which is changeable (maybe don’t tell the kids about that one). The door sills are designed to cover the lowest point possible, so that external dirt isn’t picked up and brought inside whilst climbing aboard.

Safety systems to assist Korando drivers include advanced emergency braking, lane keeping assist, safe distance and driver alerts, plus adaptive cruise control, high beam assistance, blind spot monitoring and rear traffic cross alert.

The new 1.5-litre GDI-turbo petrol unit has 163bhp at its disposal along with 207lbf.ft. The updated 1.6-litre diesel kicks out 136bhp and 239lbf.ft as low as 1,500rpm. Both units will comes with stop/start abilities on two-wheel drive models and there will also be a choice of automatic or manual six-speed transmissions.

There’s no official pricing yet, but when the new Korando goes on sale in Europe later in the year, SsangYong say that it will offer sector best value for money. On previous form, there’s no reason to doubt this.

At the Geneva Motor Show this morning, Subaru revealed their all-new e-Boxer XV and Forester models.

Subarus have always been made to a set few criteria – to be safe, fun and tough – whether that be a snarling blue saloon with gold wheels or their ever-dependable SUVs. But with this announcement, they are bringing their first electrified models to the market.

Combining a 2.0-litre diesel boxer engine, a trademark unit that has been specifically tuned for each model, with an electric motor assisting the Lineartronic gearbox and a rear mounted lithium ion battery, the new powertrain has been engineered to maintain the superb safety scores of Subaru’s Global Platform whilst also improving efficiency.

In city driving situations, the e-Boxer uses 11% less fuel than its 2.0-litre petrol stablemate, and it can be used in a full EV mode at certain times. The system is a mild-hybrid setup, that will assist the engine using electric power in tougher situations, and also takes the opportunity to recharge where possible.

The electric aspects also increase acceleration response, and the fact that the engine isn’t working alone means that it is quieter, too.

The new powertrain also protects the ride quality of the existing models, and having driven it ourselves at an exclusive preview, we can confirm that the electrified powertrain only enhances the ride of both XV and Forester models.

The additions included in the e-Boxer upgrades only see 25kg added to the overall weight of the both the XV and Forester, and the mild hybrid models also match the luggage capacities of standard models, weigh just 1,100kgs more and can also to 1,270kg – just 130kg below the best full combustion models.

In the development of the e-Boxer, Subaru consulted their loyal customer base and ascertained that a full hybrid was not what their clientele wanted at the time. Their long-term plan, however, is to go straight from mild-hybrid to full-electric vehicles as the market demands.

The new e-Boxer models feature the same X-Mode as all of the latest Subaru 4x4s, and in our brief but exclusive preview, the battery enhanced powertrain was impressive off-road and retained usability and comfort on the road.

Safety features are also at the forefront of the e-Boxer models, with not only the ever attentive and protective Eye Sight system installed, but other features like automatic reverse braking and facial recognition enhancing the driving experience. Once the facial recognition system is initialised, the car will recognise the driver and align the driving position to his or her pre-set position.

The e-Boxer models can be expected in the UK later this year, and pricing and UK relevant specs should be expected in due course.