George Dove


After teasing it plenty recently, Ford have pulled the covers off the Mustang Mach-E – their all-new, coupe inspired, all-electric SUV that is as much of an homage as it is a leap towards the future.

The Mach-E takes subtle styling cues from the all-American coupe, but is still very much an SUV, available in rear-wheel drive with a single motor, or four-wheel drive with one for each axle and two different batteries on offer.

Most frugal among the array of choices is the rear-wheel drive model with the extended-range battery, which on WLTP testing can achieve 370-miles on a full charge. The setup with  the extended-range battery with four-wheel drive is targeting 332bhp and 393lbf.ft, whilst the more performance focused Mach-E GT model is aiming for 0-60 in less than five seconds, using 459bhp and 612lbf.ft. With those figures, the target seems well within reach.

Each Mach-E will come with three driving modes to alter the vehicle’s on-road dynamics – Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. These will tailor the steering response, ambient lighting and sounds, too. The driver’s information displays will also be animated differently depending on the driving mode selected.

Four-wheel drive models will come with a 4 all-wheel drive system, which applies torque to the front and rear axles independently as required. ford tested the system in both wet and snowy terrains to ensure the level of stability it provides.

You’ll be able to fit your Mach-E with Brembo Flexira callipers, which are made of aluminium and offer the benefits of a fixed calliper whilst boasting the dimensions of a floating counterpart. On the Mach-E Gt, there will also be MagneRide adaptive suspension, which is said to keep the car pliant to the road in a ride that is both enjoyably sporty and comfortable.

One of the biggest new additions to Ford’s first all-electric model is found in the interior. Much like Tesla dashboards, the Mach-E’s is dominated by a sizeable tablet running the next-generation of Ford’s SYNC infotainment system. Able to accept over the air updates, the new system will evolve and get better over time. It uses double the computing power of SYNC 3, and has wireless compatibility with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AppLink apps from multiple smartphones and mobile devices.

Built on an all-new architecture, the batteries are housed in the underbody, meaning that there is room for five inside along with luggage space both front and back. Under the hood, which the headlights suggest there would be a throaty V8, there is a 100-litre storage space – which can be drained out. More traditional rear stowage space stands at 420-litres with a full cohort of seating with 1,420 on offer when the rear bench is flat.

The interior is more modern and sleek, with optional speakers floating above the dash like a sound bar and a floating central armrest, but the traditional Mustang double-cowl instrument panel remains in place. There’s a panoramic roof overhead, with a special infrared coating to help keep temperatures down in the summer and warmer in the winter, whilst there is also a layer to protect against UV rays.

Mach-E owners will be able to use their phone as a key, with the accompanying app. You’ll have noticed a lack of door handles, and that’s to help with aerodynamics and increase range. The doors are opened with either a press of a button, or by entering a pin on the keypad on the B-pillar followed by a separate pin on the touchscreen to start the vehicle if your phone is flat.

On the topic of batteries, the Mustang Mach-E will use a 75.5kWh lithium ion battery in standard-range models, with a 98.8kWh version in extended-range guise. These packs comprise of 288 and 376 lithium-ion cells respectively, and are protected by waterproofing and crash protection, with temperatures regulated by an active liquid cooling system.

Ford are offering a Connected Wallbox for the Mach-E, so in comparison to usual domestic sockets, your electric Mustang will be gaining up to 38-miles of charge more per hour – the Ford Home Charge Cable alone will only offer 9-miles. The onboard navigation will also suggest the most logical points on a journey to stop and charge, which at its 150kW charging capacity, the extended-range, all-wheel drive model can add 57-miles within ten minutes. In the standard model, the Mach-E is said to go from 10 to 80% in 38-minutes using a DC fast-charging station.

The Mustang Mach-E is the first all-electric Ford, and it is also the first of 14 electrified models the marque will be putting to market by the end fo 2020. With IONITY, Ford will also be installing 400 charging stations across Europe in the same timeframe.

Initially, the idea of a Mustang SUV is very jarring, however, it doesn’t sound bad at all, does it? Now it just remains to see whether it can hold its own against the plethora of coupe SUVs on the market.

Shortly after details of the powertrain were confirmed, Aston Martin have confirmed the starting price and reveal date for their debut SUV – the DBX. We also get a first look at the interior, too.

But, what we all want to know before the SUV with over five hundred horses is revealed in two weeks – how much does it cost? Well, the RRP has been set at a staggering £158,000. That’s not cheap, for sure, but it sounds even worse when converted to Japanese Yen, as then it is just shy of 23 million. But, you can’t blame Aston for global currencies.

They are accountable, however, for the lavish looking interior – which is set to be very versatile too. Designed to meet the requirements of the 99th percentile male right through to those of the 5th percentile female. It is also said that over six months were spent ensuring the exact position of the driver’s seat within a cabin that prioritises visibility.

Clad from top to bottom in a mixture of premium materials, the first glimpse reveals a spacious cabin, with a suavely housed infotainment system, ergonomic seats and a ginormous panoramic sunroof.

There’s storage beneath the flowing centre console for 1.5-litre water bottles or other valuables, and rear passengers have a raised position thanks to the stadium style seating arrangement.

The full vehicle will be revealed in China on the 20th November, from which point the order books will be opened. Then, perhaps, the roads of Britain won’t be so swamped by Bentaygas and Cullinans…

Mitsubishi have announced 2020 model year upgrades for the petrol version of the seven-seat Outlander, with the new car greener, revamped inside and with a trim option restructure.

All models still have four-wheel drive as standard, as well as seven seats and an automatic transmission, Bluetooth plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, an improved eight-inch touchscreen and a rear-view camera with top-spec models getting a TomTom sat-nav on top.

There has been a redesign of the climate control… controls… which in turn means the whole dashboard has been redesigned. Lumbar support has been added to the driver’s seat whilst those in the back receive more ergonomic padding.

As with other Mitsubishi models, the names of trim levels have changed. The entry level trim is now called Design and will come with 18-inch alloys, heated front seats, keyless entry and start up, electric folding and heated door mirrors, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control, dual zone climate and privacy glass.

The Outlander Exceed is the top-speccer, and it adds leather upholstery, electric driver’s seat adjustment, a 360º camera, the built-in TomTom sat-nav, LED headlamps, a heated steering wheel, a power tailgate, rear USB ports, plus safety tech in the form of Blind Spot Warning with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Now in showrooms, the range starts at £28,085 on the road, with the Exceed model available from £30,385. The Outlander’s first year VED is also down by £325 thanks to its lower emissions.

Mitsubishi have announced special offers, available on both the L200 Challenger and the Shogun Sport Commercial.

For a limited time, prices on these two models have been slashed, with CV pricing starting at £23,499 for the L200 Challenger and £26,344 for the Shogun Sport commercial. This means there are respective savings of £4,206 and a healthy £7,341 to be had, with both vehicles available on personal contract hire or hire purchase with interest rates of 6.9% APR.

The L200 Challenger is a high-spec variant of the Series 5 pick-up, which is offered in grey, black and white, sat on 17″ black alloys and with bespoke blacked out detailing around the exterior – such as the front grille, bumper accents, fog lamps surrounds, side steps, extended wheel arches, door mirrors and handles plus the rear bumper.

Inside there are heated front seats, black leather on all plus a seven-inch infotainment screen that’s enabled with Bluetooth, DAB radio, an integrated reversing camera and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, mechanically, it has Mitsubishi’s Super-Select 4WD system, which changes at speeds of up to 62mph, and has a payload of a tonne and can tow 3,500kg.

The Shogun Sport is a more utilitarian option, with a load bed measuring a metre wide between the rear arches and a touch shy of two-metres deep, meaning that there is room for a Euro pallet back there. Total load space comes in at 1,488 litres, plus it is an easily accessible hold, with a 605kg payload and a 3.1-tonne braked towing capacity. It also has a 4WD system with a low ‘box, different terrain settings, front and rear lockable diffs and Hill Descent Control.

Both vehicles can be purchased online, or at you local Mitsubishi dealership.


Volkswagen’s Amarok is a stellar pick-up truck, one with which there have been a few lavish special editions – and now there’s another on sale.

The Black Edition is available on Highline Amaroks – including the Aventura flag bearer. The 204 and 258bhp versions of the 3.0-litre V6 will be on offer under the bonnet in conjunction with the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Black Edition models add the Lights and Vision pack (which includes rain-sensing windscreen wipers) and the Discover Media Navigation system, meaning it has European map data plus the off-road information display. All Black Editions also come with front and rear parking sensors, Trailer Stabilisation and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.

Styling additions include 20-inch Talca alloy wheels – black of course. There are also black bumpers front and rear, black sidebars, black fog light frames, a black polish trim on the grille (which itself is black), then a sports bar in black, plus a black headliner for the interior and decorative black inserts on the dashboard.

Aventura Black Editions also come with a Nappa leather interior, upgraded Ergo Comfort seats in the front and a leather multifunction steering wheel with transmission paddles. On the outside it has power folding side mirrors, the front fog lamps have a cornering feature, there’s a front underbody guard, the underbody cladding has been styled and the truck bed has a protective lining.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are also offering matt paint at a discounted price of £2,420, along side Mountain Top roll covers at a fitted price of £1,665.

Pricing for the Black Edition starts at £34,835 for the 204bhp V6 powered truck before tax – meaning that civilian trucks will cost £42,885 once they’re on the road. For the more powerful version those figures will rise to £38,465 and £47,241 respectively, with the Aventura Black Edition topping the scales with price tags reading £40,995 and £50,277.

It may not even have entered production yet, but Bollinger Motors have revealed that it plans to make four-door versions of it’s B1 and B2 electric vehicles – as well as the initial two-door ones that are set to begin belated production next year.

The all-electric company revealed the B1 a while back, as a real-life Meccano 4×4, before shortly after revealing the B2 pick-up version.

They have also revealed that the powertrain will now have 614bhp and a range of 200-miles from a 120kWh battery, as opposed to the 520bhp supposed before.

Designed to be as practical and spacious as possible, the interiors can be readjusted and the seats bolted into a variety of positions, but the trucks are very well proportioned – for outright storage and with off-roading in mind, too.

The pick-up B2 has 15” ground clearance, 52-degree approach angle, 25-degree break over angle and the 28-degree departure angle, whilst the bed measures in at 5ft 9in long and 4ft 1in wide – or 1.75m and 1.24m respectively.

This means that with the tailgate down in the cab, the Bollinger Motors pick-up is able to transport 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood, and if you open up the glass on the rear as you can on the B1 in order to reach the top compartment, Bollinger say you can haul 72 sheets of ½” plywood. With the powertrain hidden beneath the floors, there’s plenty of room to store just about anything with the frunk and the huge rear space.

We’re excited to see what the finished products are like, although they won’t enter production until next year – and you can expect a wait on top of that before they make it over to the shores of Britain.

Believe it or not, it’s a quarter of a century since people started grumbling about how SUVs had started to feel like hatchbacks.Well, they didn’t say ’SUVs’ back then, as the term hadn’t been invented, but when
the original Toyota RAV4 came to Britain we said it reminded us more of something like a Golf GTi than a proper 4×4.

Now, the RAV4 feels like a big wagon and there’s a whole slew
of vehicles blurring the distinction between hatchback and 4×4 more effectively than ever.The BMW X2 is one of the latest, and it’s one of the most hatch-like yet. It’s a 4×4, but it makes the original X5 look like a tractor.

We’ve got the 20d model here, with all four wheels being driven by an automatic box. We climbed aboard shortly after driving a Jaguar E-Pace, which itself is not what you’d call an old-school mud- plugger, and the feeling of having descended into full-on hatchback territory was immediate and very obvious. Similarities to a traditional 4×4 are incidental at best.

Similarities to the inside of a worrying Dutch brothel, on the other hand… there’s an element of supposition there, he said guardedly, but if you like orange leather, this is the car for you. Tick the Magma Red Dakota Leather option and you’ll get something that looks like the spawn of Judith Chalmers and Phil Brown.

We found it foul beyond words, but taste is personal and no doubt there are people who find us foul beyond words too. Other than that, the cabin is a nice looking affair in which BMW’s usual slick design is set off by plenty of textured, soft-touch surfaces. Build quality is all-round solid, with no more than a few creaks here and there and an excellent firmness to the controls.

The seats are pretty good, too, with plenty of support and a nice, soft leather finish. Choose a better colour and it would look as classy as it feels.The seat backs are a tripe narrow for our liking, but despite the overall hatch-like atmosphere you’re well positioned with a good view of the road ahead. The waistline is quite high and the A-posts rather thick, but this doesn’t impede too much on all- round visibility – unlike the C-posts, which seem to go on forever.

Head and elbow room are better than you might expect from what is a small vehicle by the standards we’re used to. There’s plenty of space to stretch your legs, too, but a six-footer will need to adjust his seat all the way back. Good news here is that another tall ‘un will still fit into the seat behind him; it’ll be a bit of a squeeze, but deep hollows in the seat-backs mean it’s possible.

Headroom in the back is pretty limited, though, and those huge C-posts mean it feels enclosed and dark, even with that garish leather trying to brighten up the place. You certainly can carry adults in the back of an X2, but it’s better suited to kids – which, given the preponderance of yummy mummies one would expect to be buying them, is exactly what will happen.

There’s just about enough stowage provision up front but, with a bin rather than a full cubby, and quite small pockets in the doors, you might find yourself dumping stuff on the passenger’s seat. Bigger items are taken care
of the way you’d expect from a hatchback – the tailgate aperture is smaller than we’re used to, and the load space is only as long as the car’s overall proportions will allow, but the seats drop down easily and lie reasonably close to flat.

As an SUV, then, it feels kind of like a hatchback doing its best. But the payoff should come on the road.

First impressions are that the 2.0-litre diesel engine idles quite noisily. But once warmed up and under load, it settles down to a contented hum – and it pulls very eagerly all the way through the rev range.

It’s easy to drive gently, but doesn’t hesitate to thump you in the back when you kick it down; the route on the event at which we tested the X2 didn’t include any motorway driving, but it’s certainly civilised enough on fast A-roads to suggest it’ll cruise without any grief.

What you might want to do is opt for electronic damper control. This only adds £150 to the bill, and by allowing you to tune the shocks for a more comfortable ride it draws the sting that hampered BMW’s MSport models of old. We remember driving early X3s that were practically unusable on British roads, but while this X2 was on the firm side it dealt perfectly well with the cracks, lumps and pot holes that are often found on our magnificent UK roads.

Further options on our test car included MSport steering; the roads we got to drive hardly let us make the most of this, but the vehicle was certainly agile, feeling light on its feet and able to change direction with the nimbleness of… oh, of a hot hatch. Funny, that.

In this form, the X2 is a true crossover in that it’s a bit of a hatchback, a bit of an SUV, a bit sporty, a bit luxurious and a bit premium. What it’s not is a trail- blazer in any way, and nor is it cheap – the base vehicle we drove lists at £36,590, and by the time all the various options and OTR costs were taken into account it would have cost £44,185.

None of this made it feel particularly special, either. The options included things like electric seats, front parking sensors and a rear-view camera, which are a common sight on other brands’ standard kit lists at this kind of price and indeed cheaper.

That’s always been the way with the premium German brands, so it’s not a criticism of the X2 per se. All the same, it did leave us feeling that it’s a lot of money for a vehicle whose main selling point is that it’s a BMW.

You may not have noticed, but car makers are all flocking to electrified powertrains in a bid to be kinder to the environment with their products.

Taking the first steps into this pool, Bentley have announced the Bentayga Hybrid – which is now on sale across the continent with lower emissions, higher fuel efficiency and an EV mode.

The Bentagya Hybrid’s gasoline propulsion comes from a ‘highly efficient’ 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol unit, which is paired with an electric motor. Together they offer up 516lbf.ft, with the electric motor responsible for 295 of them. This means that the luxury mammoth hits 60mph in 5.2 seconds.

But, the big headline is that with the two working in tandem, the big Bentley can achieve up to 80.7mpg with only 79 g/km of carbon dioxide coming out of the back. All electric range stands at 31.7-miles on an NEDC cycle and the battery can be fully recharged in two and a half hours – at which point it is good for another 464 miles.

As you may have guessed, the thing isn’t cheap, with prices starting at £133,100.

With its debut SUV entering the final stages of production, Aston Martin have let slip that the DBX will be powered by a rather potent V8.

The 4.0-litre power plant is the same twin-turbo unit from the Vantage, but it will produce 542bhp combined with 516lbf.ft – making it the highest performer of all the V8s in the current Aston range.

Testing has been extensive, with the British marque determined to keep the DBX on par with it’s performance cars both on the civil roads and race tracks. There are no official top speed figures yet, but in testing the DBX is alleged to have broken 180mph on several occasions, according to Aston themselves.

In the remaining time before the scheduled December unveiling, engineers will be fine-tuning the handling setup and continue to fine tune the powertrain to, as Chief Engineer Matt Becker says, “make this the most exciting SUV on the market.”

The company who are building the self-proclaimed ‘spiritual successor’ to the old Defender, INEOS Automotive, have confirmed that their no-nonsense 4×4 will be called the Grenadier, rather than the working title of Project Grenadier, following an online vote.

It has also been confirmed that the Grenadier will be built in a brand new and bespoke facility in Wales.

Based in Bridgend, there will be 200 jobs created initially with that potentially rising to 500 in the long run. The site development is now underway to account for the planned start of production next year.

INEOS have also announced that there will be a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal, which will produce the vehicle’s body and chassis in conjunction with the European chain of the brand’s suppliers.

CEO of INEOS Automotive, Dirk Heilmann, said of the progress: “Confirming production in the UK, as well as our investment in Portugal, is a major milestone for the project. We are progressing well with the design and engineering work, as well as our marketing and distribution plans. In the months ahead, we look forward to sharing more information about the Grenadier, and engaging with local suppliers, the community and region, in advance of the start of production in 2021.”