Monthly Archives: June 2019

With a duo of powertrains, an exterior restyle and upgraded interior features Renault has updated the Koleos and given the flagship SUV a new lease of life. It comes in two trims – Iconic and GT-Line – with LED headlights, adaptive cruise, keyless entry, hands-free parking and a reversing camera as standard across the range.

The two new engines are both Blue dCi diesels that’re more powerful and emit lower emissions that the pair they replace. The 1.8-litre unit combines 150bhp and has emissions of 143g/km, with the other option coming in the form of the 2.0-litre 190bhp that emits 150g/km of CO2. Both are tuned with real-world driving in mind, and their full quotas of torque (251 and 280lbf.ft respectively) are delivered down at 1,750 rpm, whilst both come with X-Tronic CVT gearboxes as standard. The smaller of the two engines will be available exclusively with front-wheel drive, whilst the Blue dCi 190 comes with Renualt’s All Mode 4×4-i.

At the front the headlights are now Pure Vision LEDs as standard, whilst the grille has been redesigned and there is new exterior chrome trimming and larger skid plates. The same can be said of the chrome and skid plate at the rear, whilst there is also a larger high-level brake light and 3D effect Edge Light tail lights. New two-tone alloys also join the wardrobe, as does metallic Vintage Red paint.

More soft touch materials feature in the updated interior, with the satin trim inserts also seeing a revision. Rear passengers will be pleased to hear that the rear seats now feature a two stages of reclining on all models. Renault have also added Apple CarPlay as standard on both the seven and 8.7-inch R-LINK 2 touchscreen systems.

Safety features now include pedestrian detection for the Active Emergency Braking System, whilst adaptive cruise control was added to the suite late last year.

Prices for the revitalised Koleos will be detailed in July, but we do know that first orders are expected to be delivered to owners in October.


Jaguar Land Rover and the BMW Group are teaming up on their development of next-generation electric drive systems, in a collaboration that will also aim to improve future safety technology as the automotive industry moves to utilise ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) further down the line.

The merger will see the combined knowledge behind the award-winning Jaguar I-Pace and several iterations of battery tech developed since BMW launched the i3.

Shared research, development and production will provide both technological and economical benefits to both parties, but with both parties still fine tuning the products to suit the needs of their own product ranges.

Both BMW and Jaguar Land Rover will make the Electric Drive Units (EDUs) with their own production facilities, meaning that the JLR EDUs will be made at their new Engine Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton.

But the big thing is that this could be good news for the all-new Defender!

Mitsubishi have thrown down the L200 Challenger – a special edition of the fifth-generation model.

Using the L200 Warrior as a start point, the new Challenger will be available in three body colours – white, grey and black – the latter of which match the finish of its 17-inch alloys and the detailing of the front grille and much of the exterior furnishings.

It will also match the black leather interior, which comprises electric driving seat, which is heated along with that for the front passenger. Other aspects include a 7″ screen which is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, as well as having Mitsubishi’s Smartphone Link Display Audio system and DAB radio.

As with the Warrior models, standard equipment is high with reversing camera, LED DRLs and xenon headlights, automatic wipers plus lane departure warning, hill start assist and trailer stability assistance all as standard on Challenger trucks.

It also utilises Mitsubishi’s 180bhp diesel unit with Super-Select 4WD system and a towing capacity of 3.5-tonnes. It too retains the one-tonne payload, so can be registered as a commercial vehicle, whether the six-speed manual or the automatic transmission is optioned.

To get a Challenger onto the road as a commercial haunt, the manual will cost £27,705, with the automatic available for £29,105. The L200 Challenger is on sale now, and will crossover in showrooms with the new sixth-gen truck when that goes on sale in the autumn.

The D23 Nissan Navara is a good truck – which is just as well as the headlines of the new update are uniform suspension, a new manual gearbox, bigger brakes, engine upgrades and more tech as standard.

King Cab models will now feature the same multi-link suspension as used in the double cab models, which in turn has provided a 46kg increase in the payload of two-door trucks, with the rear also sitting 25mm higher.

The 163bhp engine is now fitted with two turbochargers, matching the tally of the 190bhp version, which has upped torque to 313lbf.ft, a digit increased by 16. An all-new six-speed transmission is joining the revised powertrain, with linger ratios and a shorter throw, meaning changes are less frequently required but more pleasant to enact.

Braking should be more assured in the updated Navara, with rear drums replaced for discs and callipers whilst the front discs are 4mm bigger. The results? a claimed 40% reduction in braking force.

Standard level equipment has increased with the update, N-Connecta models and above getting an eight-inch touchscreen to communicate the Nissan Connect entertainment system, with Apple CarPlay and mobile integration, whilst all models also get Trailer Sway Assist as standard.

Styling upgrades are limited on the new model, with new black bezel inlays for the LED headlights, plus new 17 and 18″ alloy designs.

Updated models go on sale from the 1st July, with the range kicking off with the manual King Chassis Cab Visia at £21,850 as a CV and topping out at £31,125 for the N-Guard double cab, again as a CV.

In rather surprising news, Skoda have revealed a pick-up truck.

The Mountiaq concept is a Kodiaq-based pick-up that is the culmination of this year’s work from the class of the Skoda Vocational School in Boleslav.

A team of 35 Skoda apprentices envisaged the truck, from the light bar on the roof, down to the winch and even the specific Sunset Orange paintwork.

It has taken the team of apprentices in excess of 2,000 hours over the last eight months to build the Mountiaq, with production starting in January. After the sketching phase was completed, the body was reinforced before the roof of the Kodiaq was removed and the tough work began. A new rear panel was then fashioned, along with new windows for the double-cab body type.

Another key component of such a shape is the truck-bed, which had to be designed and fabricated and took the overall length of the truck to a whisker under five metres. The bed includes a hidden storage compartment beneath the surface, and the longer and wider stance means that the doors were redesigned to fit, whilst both front and rear bumpers were modified – clearly, as the Kodiaq doesn’t come with a winch…

Ground clearance has been improved, tallying 29cm to the Kodiaq Scout’s 19, with the upsized 17″ Rockstar alloys and more aggressive tyres playing a part. The overall wheelbase is now 2.79-metres, whilst vehicle width is a touch over two metres and it stands at 1.71-metres tall.  A 190bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol powers the Mountiaq, which also has a snorkel, bullbar and specifically designed winch mount.

Inside, the Mountiaq features plenty of cool features. There’s a glowing Skoda logo in the headlining, a fridge, uniquely embroidered seats and a set of walkie talkies. interior highlights also match the exterior Sunset Orange.

Being students, they’ve also whacked a bigger sound system in there, adding 4,000 watts split evenly between an amplifier and subwoofer, whilst numerous facets of the car are suavely underlit to give it a real edge. The Skoda badge, engine bay, bed sills and radiator grille are all lit, whilst there’s Skoda branded puddle lights, too.

One thing is for sure: we wouldn’t mind a jot if this entered production…